New Delhi: Bihar crossed the 100,000 mark in Covid-19 tests on Monday, nearly 75 days after the lockdown began, as the state is still conducting only 4,000-5,000 tests a day and continues to have the lowest testing rate per million people in the country among the big states.

Positive cases in Bihar increased to 5,175 due to a sharp rise in the past 15 days but state health minister Mangal Pandey said the recovery rate had improved as well to almost 47 per cent, equivalent to the national average.

He said the state had now fixed a target to test 10,000 people a day by June 20, as more than 50 new TrueNat testing machines would be available by then.

However, only 3,645 samples were tested in Bihar on Sunday, as per the state health department data. The state’s per million testing rate stands at just about 790, among the country’s lowest and almost a fourth of the national average.

Most of the 2,536 active cases in Bihar are of the migrants who have come back to the state on trains since May 3. With a death toll of 31, Bihar has a mortality rate of 0.6%, among the lowest in the country.

Testing facilities are not available in every district of Bihar, although chief minister Nitish Kumar issued an order to this effect last month.

The state health department has now fixed a target of June 15 to start testing facilities in laggard districts. The state is also targeting to double the capacity of isolation beds from just 21,000 at present.

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