The states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are lagging behind in testing suspected COVID-19 patients, according to a report in The Economic Times.

As the total number of samples tested in the country for COVID-19 crossed the 10 lakh-mark, tests per 10 lakh population went up to 818 on May 4 from 57.9 on April 4.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 1,191,946 samples were tested for COVID-19 as of 9.00 am on May 5.

Also read: ICMR deploys IBM’s Watson to expedite responses from testing

The report cited testing figures from ICMR showing West Bengal was the lowest among top 15 states with most confirmed COVID-19 cases.

West Bengal conducted 230 tests per 10 lakh population, followed by Bihar, which conducted 267 tests in the same bracket, the report suggested.

Uttar Pradesh’s 429 tests per 10 lakh population were reportedly around half of the national average. Madhya Pradesh tested 642 per million. All of these four states have witnessed a sharp increase in positive cases.

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The newspaper report quoted a senior Health Ministry official as saying that the rise in the number of confirmed cases “is even more worrisome when you see the inadequate test numbers”.

“This clearly shows that if these states were to test more, more cases would be found,” the official told the publication.

At 3,486, Delhi has recorded the highest tests per 10 lakh population. This is more than four times the national average. The national capital is followed by Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir with 2,313 and 2,083 tests per 10 lakh population, respectively. Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have conducted 1,932, 1,668 and 1,423 tests per 10 lakh population, respectively.

India has recorded 46,433 cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,568 deaths so far, according to the Union Health Ministry’s latest update.

Of these, 32,138 are active cases while 12,727 have been cured or discharged.

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