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As India surpasses many countries in the global Covid-19 case incidence, the government has increased its testing significantly. However, there is still a mismatch between the need for testing and the current testing across multiple states in the country. To close the gap of supply and need, it is required to ramp up testing especially in areas and populations with rapid spread of infection. Certain barriers like the increased turnaround time for a confirmatory diagnosis, absence of a differentiated testing mechanism, the absence of rationalized use of existing resources, faltering test reports, limited or delayed adoption of new technologies, fear of getting tested and lack of peer learning has led to suboptimal testing rates and inequality in access. The foundation of the interventions planned is built on innovations in diagnostic products and processes, and building partnership for increasing testing. Understanding the specific needs of the different geographies at the lowest level and designing appropriate strategies and solutions remain key to controlling this pandemic.
MIHM envisions to support the government’s efforts to disrupt Covid-19 transmission through increased testing. Towards this endeavour, it is working to develop an efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable pandemic-containment model/response through differentiated testing strategies, networking of laboratories, and accelerated deployment of innovations. Simultaneously, it is supporting the policymakers in designing Covid-19 response tools/guidelines/standard operating procedures (SOPs) and facilitating peer-learning by leveraging the e-learning systems and digital solutions.
The project will deliver data-driven decision support tools, a playbook for implementation and scale-up of different operating models, costing of various testing strategies, mapping laboratories and their capacity to conduct Covid-19 tests to data district administrations, and outline differentiated, multi-pronged solutions to increase uptake. Furthermore, this project will support the local governments in convening the relevant stakeholders like government organizations, diagnostic laboratory chains, and medical colleges at the state level to increase the reach and equitable distribution of the testing facilities. The larger goal achieved will be creating sustainable Covid-19 containment models that prepare and reinforce the health system for future pandemics.