New Delhi: A day after crossing 6 lakh-mark in coronavirus count, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday said that the country has crossed the nine-million mark in conducting COVID-19 tests, with 90,56,173 samples having been examined till July 1. Also Read - Sanjay Dutt Hospitalised in Mumbai Due to Breathlessness, Has Been Tested Negative For COVID-19

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said there are now 1,065 testing labs in the country — 768 in the public sector and 297 in private. Also Read - Zimbabwe Cancel T20I Series Against Afghanistan Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

It also added that the daily testing capacity is also growing fast and it was around 1.5 lakh per day on May 25. Also Read - COVID-19: Centre Raps 13 Districts For High Mortality Rate, 5 of Them Are in Bengal | Check List

The ICMR said as many as 2,29,588 samples were tested on Wednesday, which took the cumulative number to 90,56,173.

The Union Health Ministry, meanwhile, said the total number of people being tested for COVID-19 in the country will soon touch one crore.

“This has been (made) possible due to the removal of all bottlenecks by the government of India. Various steps taken by the Central government have paved the way for enhanced testing for COVID-19,” the ministry said.

On the other hand, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday inaugurated a plasma bank to treat novel coronavirus and said that COVID-19 patients can donate their plasma 14 days after recovery.

Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said the eligibility for being a plasma donor is “very strict”, and hoped that with this bank the number of COVID-19 deaths will decrease in the national capital.

The government has set up the plasma bank at the state-run Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS).

“Today, we have started the ‘plasma bank’ and some people have also donated. As we all know there is no vaccine for novel coronavirus yet, but plasma therapy seems to be quite helpful for COVID patients,” he said.

He said that there are strict guidelines for eligible donors. “I would urge those people who have recovered from COVID-19 to come forward and donate plasma to other patients,” he said.

Kejriwal said people who have recovered from the virus can contact 1031 and WhatsApp number — 8800007722 — where they can get details for plasma donation. The donor will also be given an appreciation letter.

“A government doctor will contact the person willing to donate his plasma and get basic details regarding his medical history and other eligibility requirements. Thereafter, the person can come to ILBS to donate his plasma. The government will also bear transportation expenses,” he said.

Talking about the eligibility parameters for donors, Kejriwal said that those aged between 18 and 60 and weighing not less than 50 kg can donate their plasma.

The development comes as the national capital on Wednesday recorded 2,442 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally in the city to over 89,000, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 2,803.

(With inputs from PTI)