The Indian Council of Medical Research said it has conducted tests on 13,316 samples from 12,426 individuals for the COVID-19 virus till 10 am on Thursday. Among these, 168 individuals were confirmed positive for the coronavirus among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases.

The Union health ministry’s current testing criteria is limited to international travellers and their direct contacts. People who have acute respiratory illnesses, but have not travelled abroad in the last 14 days and have not been in contact with a person confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 are considered “suspect cases”. Indian authorities have continued to defend the country’s restrictive testing policy, which has resulted in among the lowest testing rates in the world. Experts say such limited testing could lead to cases of community transmission, which cannot be traced to a known confirmed case, going undetected.

In Kerala, 2,550 samples have been tested till Thursday, The NewsMinute reported. Of these, 27 have tested positive and 2,140 negative. The heath ministry has so far confirmed 25 cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Tamil Nadu only 222 samples have been tested till Thursday. Of these, two tested positive and 166 tested negative. Currently, the testing of 54 samples is also underway.

In Andhra Pradesh, 109 samples have been tested so far. Two of them tested positive for COVID-19 and 94 samples came out negative. The results of 13 samples are awaited.

Eighty-eight samples have been collected for coronavirus testing in Uttarakhand till 8 pm on Wednesday, according to the state’s directorate of health services. Out of these, 44 tested negative and one sample was positive. The results of 23 other samples are awaited.

The government labs testing for coronavirus in India. (Credit: ICMR)

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