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Shah wants testing ramped up, focus on asymptomatic patients

Shah directed the states to ramp up testing and focus on asymptomatic patients, which is emerging as a serious cause of concern in various regions.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: July 3, 2020 2:13:59 pm
Shah wants testing ramped up, focus on asymptomatic patients Thirteen districts of Haryana fall in NCR area. Five of these — Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Faridabad and Gurugram — have been worst affected by the pandemic.

In wake of the Covid spike in Delhi NCR, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday held a meeting with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to discuss the situation. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was also present at the meeting.

Thirteen districts of Haryana fall in NCR area. Five of these — Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Faridabad and Gurugram — have been worst affected by the pandemic.

Shah directed the states to ramp up testing and focus on asymptomatic patients, which is emerging as a serious cause of concern in various regions.

In Haryana, the Covid positivity rate in Gurgaon and Faridabad is over 10 per cent. Shah asked Khattar to ramp up testing and increase the ICU facilities.

As far as Haryana is concerned, besides Gurgaon and Faridabad, which are worst affected till date, Sonipat and Rohtak too are witnessing a spike in cases.

At the meeting, Khattar said, “We have so far distributed 1500 pulse-oximeters to asymptomatic patients in the NCR districts of the state for the regular monitoring of oxygen levels during home isolation. Orders for additional 1,000 such oximeters have also been placed to carry out door-to-door monitoring of oxygen level of such patients so that people having low oxygen level can be admitted in hospitals.”

“As per projections, Haryana has sufficient number of isolation beds and ICU beds available in its hospitals. There are 1,061 ICU beds in NCR districts whereas the number of critical patients is 61. Target of testing has been increased from 4,000 per day to 5,000 per day. At present, 3,500 rapid testing per day is being done in Gurugram and the same will be started soon in adjoining districts also. Arrangements of 15,900 isolation beds have been made in both government and private hospitals in the state,” Khattar added.

The CM also apprised the home minister that Haryana has started “an experiment in Gurugram under which 17 Aggressive Containment Zones have been set up for conducting door-to-door survey and to take the symptomatic patients to hospitals for treatment”.

He informed Shah about steps taken by the state government. “More than 70,000 volunteers including doctors and paramedics are offering their services.

A total of 750 newly recruited doctors have joined in different hospitals. The supply chain system has been further strengthened to provide financial and other assistance to the needy and labourers. As many as 20,000 local committees have been constituted in the State for identifying such beneficiaries.

In addition, 87,000 Distress Ration Tokens (DRTs) have been distributed to provide ration to those people who do not have any ration card,” Khattar added.

Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, who also attended the meeting, said, “Recently, three asymptomatic patients died in Uttar Pradesh in 24 hours after their oxygen levels dropped. Thus, the home minister asked states to be prepared to deal with such exigency and specially focus on asymptomatic patients and ramp up infrastructure including ICU facilities, ventilators and other oxygen support equipment. All these directions shall be duly implemented, especially in districts bordering New Delhi that are most affected in Haryana.”

Highest single-day spike

As of Thursday evening, Haryana had witnessed its highest single-day spike with 568 fresh cases and 11 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the state’s total count of Covid cases, till date, to 15,509 and 251 deaths.

According to state’s Thursday evening bulletin, there are 4,239 active Covid patients. These include 1,182 in Gurgaon, 1,164 in Faridabad and 477 in Sonipat. In the last 24 hours, Gurgaon witnessed 4 deaths, Faridabad 3, Karnal 2, and 1 each in Rohtak and Hisar.

Panchkula too recorded its first Covid death, Thursday.

In the last 24 hours, Sonipat reported maximum new cases — 131 — while Faridabad had 130 and Gurgaon 106.
On Thursday, there were 59 Covid patients were in critical condition including 41 on oxygen support and 18 on ventilator.

During the meeting, Shah asked Haryana and UP to specially focus on asymptomatic patients. “In UP, three asymptomatic patients diagnosed with coronavirus infection died within 24 hours. The home minister asked Haryana to trace asymptomatic patients and increase testing at the booth level,” said Dushyant.

This was the second meeting chaired by the Union Home Minister with the chief ministers of the three states in the last three weeks. In his previous meeting on June 18, Shah had asked for a common strategy for Delhi and NCR to tackle the pandemic.

Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting, Dushyant said, “Population of Delhi-NCR is over 4 crore. Various measures on how to curtail further spread of coronavirus infection in Delhi-NCR were discussed. Officials from union health ministry and ICMR were also present in the meeting and gave their suggestions on how to ramp up testing and special focus on asymptomatic patients. States were also asked to increase ICU facilities”.

The recovery rate in Haryana is also increasing over the last few days. With 520 patients recovering in the last 24 hours, the state’s recovery rate touched 71.05 per cent Thursday evening and the case-doubling rate in the state reached 16 days.

The overall Covid positivity rate in Haryana was recorded at 5.71 per cent and 10,928 samples were being tested per million population, as of Thursday evening.

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