Around 96,000 people in Delhi, who were put under home isolation, have so far recovered from Covid-19 while 30 deaths have been registered in this category, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal informed the Delhi Legislative Assembly during a one-day special session on Monday.
As per figures shared by the CM, out of 1.88 lakh recoveries recorded in Delhi so far, 51.18% people got cured under home isolation, which he said was reflective of the success of the experiment that encouraged people to get tested and also prevented healthcare infrastructure from getting overwhelmed.
The Delhi government’s September 14 health bulletin said 16,568 patients remain under home isolation in the city.
“Once we introduced the home isolation protocol, people stopped avoiding tests. Otherwise, many did so to avoid going to quarantine centres. In fact, contrary to perception, family members of a person actually take great care of a sick person. All across the world, healthcare infrastructure came under great strain and we thought if developed countries are struggling to cope, what will be the situation here. Hence, we encouraged home isolation,” Kejriwal said.
Participating in a short duration discussion, Kejriwal said Covid cases rapidly grew in Delhi as 32,000 passengers had returned to the city from various foreign countries by March 22. “Out of all the flights returning to India, 80%-90% landed in Delhi. And at that point, there were no norms on isolation, quarantine, there was no ICMR guideline. On March 22, the Delhi Health Secretary wrote to district magistrates directing them to identify all 32,000 passengers who had returned. It was an impossible task. Only around that time did the Centre issue guidelines to quarantine such people.
“They came from countries which had a high prevalence of the virus. We did not have enough PPEs, testing kits. They must have spread the virus to a great extent. I also want to thank the Centre for providing us testing kits, oxygen cylinders. If the Centre says it tackled coronavirus alone, it would be lying, and if we say we controlled the situation alone, we would be lying. It was a team effort which also involved NGOs, spiritual organisations, etc,” Kejriwal said.
As per records, the decision to screen foreign return passengers at the airport and share their contacts with the district administrations was taken on March 3, when the city had one positive case. According to official documents, the CM was informed on March 8 that “1,40,603 passengers have been screened at the Delhi Airport and placed under surveillance”.
On Monday, the CM also said that since July 26, 5,264 patients from other states have been treated at Delhi government hospitals. He said the testing rate in Delhi per 10 lakh per day stands at 3,000, which was on a par with the United Kingdom.
“The corresponding figures are 1,388 in USA, 2,311 in Russia, and 858 in Peru while India has an average of 819 tests per million per day,” the CM added. Delhi relies heavily on rapid antigen tests, which have a sensitivity rate of 50.6% to 84%. Till August 27, less than 1% rapid tests were followed up through RT-PCR.
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