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India Covid-19 testing rate lower than others: WHO chief scientist

Aug 04, 2020 18:46 IST

The Chief scientist of WHO, Soumya Swaminathan, on Tuesday pointed out that India has a lower Covid-19 testing rate and without adequate testing, fighting the virus is like fighting fire blindfolded. She compared India's Covid-19 testing rate with that of countries like Japan, Germany Taiwan who are successfully controlling the virus spread. Swaminathan suggested having a benchmark for every public health department on the rate of testing per lakh and the test positivity rate. The number of tests being conducted is not adequate if the Covid-19 test positivity rate is above 5%, she added. Swaminathan also spoke about the ongoing vaccine trials. She said that if the efficacy rate of a vaccine is 70% then as per the WHO guidelines it will be considered good. She further said that by the end of 2021, the COVAX facility will deliver 2 billion doses of safe, effective vaccines that get WHO's regulatory approval. Covax facility is a mechanism designed for rapid, equitable, and fair access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.