India’s unlock phase which began this month will be influenced by the incidence of infection in the population. The key to informed decision making therefore will be the trend in infections. In this context, India’s testing strategy defies logic. The strategy is not uniform among states. This can be explained by regional diversity, but even within a state the strategy has been inconsistent. Consequently, it is difficult to rely on the existing data to gain an accurate picture of the transmission.
Earlier in the week, Delhi changed its testing strategy. It is not the only state to do so. Given that Delhi, one of the country’s economic engines, is also an area where the transmission rate has been high, the inconsistent testing policy can’t help authorities reach an informed decision. In the third month of the lockdown, it’s time governments get the basics right.