India reported more than 60,000 new cases of Coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of COVID-19 infections to over 3.1 million.
The country also recorded a death toll of 1,092 in this time and the total number of new cases – which was a significant spike in infections – was 60,975.
India is the worst-affected country in Asia, and third behind the United States and Brazil globally.
This comes as health experts have voiced their concern about the Indian government’s decision to implement rapid tests – which screen for antigens, or viral proteins – as authorities ramp up coronavirus tests.
In June, India started using cheaper, faster, but less accurate tests to ramp up testing – a strategy that the US is now considering.
These rapid tests boosted India’s testing levels nearly five-fold within two months. But government numbers suggest some parts of the country might have become over-reliant on the faster tests, which can miss infections, Al Jazeera reported.
Although less accurate, these tests are cheap and yield results in minutes. Most do not require a lab for processing or any specialized equipment or trained personnel.
Indian health officials have meanwhile asked those who test negative with antigen tests but have symptoms to be retested with the more accurate laboratory tests.
According to Al Jazeera, experts fear that over-reliance on antigen tests without retesting could impede efforts to contain the virus as it spreads to states with fragile healthcare systems, like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, with a combined population of more than 300 million.
The two states now conduct more than 100,000 tests daily, the most in India. But only a fraction – 6,100 in Bihar and 30,000 in Uttar Pradesh – use laboratory tests.