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COVID-19: Pakistan testing capacity still not sufficient

اپ ڈیٹ 29 نومبر 2020
Pakistan is ranked 20th in the world in terms of most tests conducted. (Image courtesy: www.statista.com)
Pakistan is ranked 20th in the world in terms of most tests conducted. (Image courtesy: www.statista.com)

It's been over ten months since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the country. But even after the passing of several months, the testing capacity of the country is unfortunately still inadequate.

Countries have been amping up their daily Covid testing gradually for the past several months. Pakistan is no exception as it has increased its capability of sampling the suspected individuals over time. At the beginning of the pandemic between February and March, the country had been performing just a few hundred tests daily.

Gradually the numbers increased as PCR kits were imported in the next few weeks. Between June and July, Pakistan was testing over 20,000 individuals daily as the country had started manufacturing the testing kits domestically. The number of daily tests increased further in the coming weeks and by August-September, on average 30,000-35,000 individuals were being tested daily in Pakistan. Nowadays, over 40 thousand people have been tested daily in Pakistan. Yesterday, 43,214 tests were done in the country, out of which 3,113 returned positive.

Even though the country's testing capacity has improved gradually over the last few months, public health officials believe that the rate at which Pakistan has been increasing its capacity is still slow. The government needs to further increase its testing capacity as the latest global guidelines to curtail the spread of Coronavirus in the community revolve around four words- test, trace, isolate, and treat. Testing is of utmost importance.

So far, Pakistan has conducted 5,386,916 total coronavirus tests. Currently, Pakistan is ranked 20th among the countries in terms of total tests done. This means that the country has sampled just 24,199 people per million.

As of November 26, 2020, the United States leads the world in testing the most number of people by a huge margin. It has conducted over 186 million tests. India is second on the list with more than 135 million tests and Russia is third with 74 million tests.