Why Is India’s Testing Rate Low?

Empire Diaries Desk

May 3, 2020, New Delhi: India has now officially reported more than 40,000 cases of #Covid19. But even as the #coronavirus continues to tighten its grip on the country’s population, the testing rate somehow still remains extremely low.

As of now, India is testing 758 people per 1 million people. It is indeed a steady climb from less than 500 per million from a few days back.

But now let’s take a step back and look at the larger picture. Let’s have a look at the five worst-hit countries’ testing rates.

US is testing 20,960 people per 1 million
Spain 32,699 / million
Italy 34,879 / million
UK 16,644 / million
France 16,856 / million
Germany 30,400 / million
Russia 28,095 / million

So, it’s clear that these countries have been able to give us a somewhat true picture of the damage done by the #pandemic by honestly trying to test as many people as possible.

Bottom line: The more people you test, the more infections and deaths you get to discover and record. The fewer people you test, the less you get to know the actual damage done.

Now, let’s return to India’s current testing rate of 758 per million. Compare it with those of the countries mentioned above, and you know that it’s a no-brainer.

We have fewer infections and fewer deaths than them not because we are less impacted by the #epidemic, but because we are simply not testing enough people.

A counter-argument keeps coming up that says India’s population is too huge for large sections of the public to be tested.

But if we are really calling this an unprecedented war on an invisible enemy that happens once in a century, we should approach it with the same level of preparation – just like so many other countries are doing.


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