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More, But Less

To improve its ability to test large numbers of people for COVID-19, India turned to cheaper, rapid testing, but less accurate testing, a strategy the Associated Press reports is now facing criticism.

Anitgen-based tests increased India's testing capacity by about five-fold, the AP says, and about third of all tests are now antigen tests. But it adds that some government numbers suggest that parts of the country are relying too heavily on rapid testing and that re-testing — which can help catch infections missed by initial tests — isn't occurring as often as it should. It reports that in Delhi state, only about 0.5 percent of the 260,000 people who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 in about a six-week time frame were tested again, noting that more than 280,000 tests were conducted then.

"That is abysmally low," S. P. Kalantri, a public health specialist in Maharashtra, tells the AP, adding that the decline in more accurate lab tests — from 11,000 to 5,400 tests per day — was worrisome.