NEW DELHI, July 28 (Xinhua) -- For the second consecutive day on Tuesday, India carried over half a million tests in a single day, thereby setting up a new record, the country's health ministry said.
"India creates and maintains a new high of more than 5 lakh (half a million) COVID-19 tests conducted in a single day over two consecutive days," the ministry said.
Data from India's top health research body - Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) showed on July 26 that a total of 515,472 samples were tested and on July 27 the number of samples tested was 528,082.
The health ministry described the increase in testing as a result of their policy to contain the spread of the pandemic.
"This is the outcome of the Union (federal) government's focus on aggressive testing, tracking and treatment policy to curb the spread of COVID-19," the ministry said.
So far over 17.3 million tests have been conducted in India at its designated laboratories.
"A cumulative total of 17,334,885 samples have been tested up to July 27, 2020," the research body on Tuesday said.
Health officials attribute the increase in testing capacity to the consistent adding up of more laboratories.
In January this year, there was only one laboratory to carry out COVID-19 tests. However, the number of laboratories at present is 1,310.
As per ICMR of the 1,310 laboratories, 905 are in the government sector and 405 in the private sector.
On Monday Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched three hi-tech COVID-19 testing facilities for West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Modi said the number of COVID-19 tests would soon be ramped up to a million a day in coming weeks.
The federal government has advised all states to keep up the strategy of "Test, Track and Treat".
India Tuesday said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country have reached 1,483,156 including 33,425 deaths.
India's case fatality rate (CFR) is falling and currently at 2.25 percent.
Meanwhile, the ministry said 952,743 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement, which has pushed the recovery rate to 64.23 percent.