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95k incoming passengers tested in Delhi, positivity rate 1.28%

At high-level meeting, call taken to ‘ramp up medical infrastructure and preparedness to November 2020 levels’.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: April 9, 2021 6:57:15 pm
Covid-19Passengers being tested for COVID-19 before they enter the New Delhi Railway Station, amid rise in coronavirus cases, in New Delhi, Friday, April 9, 2021. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

The overall positivity rate has shown a steep rise in Delhi, but among thousands entering the city through air, rail or land route, very few are testing positive, shows Delhi government data.

The testing of 94,828 samples, collected randomly from passengers at the airport, railway stations and bus terminals, has so far thrown up 1,221 positive cases, which translates to a positivity rate of 1.28 per cent, lower than the positivity rate in the capital.

Out of the 1,221 cases, 532 positive samples were collected from passengers at Old Delhi and New Delhi Railway Stations and the Kashmere Gate ISBT. At Anand Vihar ISBT, 347 samples have tested positive, while at the IGI Airport, 110 RT-PCR samples have returned positive.

This is a marginal rise from April 2, when the positivity rate of randomly collected samples was 1.04 per cent. However, back then, the overall positivity rate in the city was 4.11 per cent, which has now crossed 8 per cent.

Positivity rate is the total number of positive cases against total tests. Keeping the numbers in mind, the government is planning to implement more curbs internally, such as allowing fewer people in buses, strong focus on preventing gatherings during the upcoming Navratri festival, and to prepare the medical infrastructure to meet a redux of November, which the city battled the third wave of the virus.

The proposed measures figured at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Friday. It was attended by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and a number of top officials of the Delhi government as well as the Centre.

“After detailed deliberations with experts and keeping in view of the ongoing surge of Covid cases in Delhi it was emphasised upon to be more vigilant and ensuring strict enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour at market places, malls, hospitals, restaurants, public gatherings, public transport and offices. The Health Department was directed to ramp up medical infrastructure and preparedness to the November 2020 levels and reinforce systems for case fatality management,” LG House sources said.

In this respect, the government has already decided that 115 private hospitals with a bed capacity of 50 ar above will have to reserve either half of the ICU and ward beds or 1.25 times the number of beds currently occupied by Covid patients at present. The Lok Nayak and GTB Hospitals have also been instructed to increase their bed capacity by 500 each.

In case of public transport, buses can currently ply with all its seats occupied, as opposed to the Metro where every alternate seat remains vacant and a limited number of passengers are allowed to commute while standing. The authorities now plan to allow buses to run with half occupancy.

The government directed the district officials to ramp up the testing and tracing strategy, especially at the micro containment zones. There are 4,226 containment zones in the city currently, with the majority of them small affected units of a locality or a building.

In November, over 18,000 beds in hospitals were dedicated for Covid-19 patients. At that time, the case positivity rate had risen to around 15 per cent. Medical students and interns were also roped in for patient care.

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