In the backdrop of Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad issuing separate orders for Covid containment, including sealing of borders intermittently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday pushed for a unified strategy in Delhi-NCR. The MHA also said arrangements have been made for Delhi to be able to carry out 6 lakh Covid tests a day, even as it is being provided 500 additional ventilators and 650 more ambulances.
Meanwhile, the ministry said a high-level committee under NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul has submitted its report on capping treatment in private hospitals. It, however, did not provide details. In a meeting with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and chief secretaries of Haryana and UP, Shah said, “Keeping in view the close-knit urban structure of the NCR, it is necessary for all authorities concerned in Delhi- NCR to come together to tackle the virus… There is a need to test more and to identify and treat those diagnosed positive..”
Shah directed officials from UP and Haryana to submit information about Covid-19 beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, ICUs and ambulances available with them. He also asked them to spell out their plan to augment these resources by July 15 and submit a report to MHA so that “a common strategy can be devised in the NCR…”
MoS Home G Kishan Reddy and Nityanand Rai visited multiple testing centres across Delhi to take stock of deficiencies and help that may be required from Centre. Reddy told the media, “We have opened 169 centres for rapid testing today, financed by the Centre. About 6 lakh people need to be tested everyday. We can increase this, if needed. About 50,000 kits have been provided to these 169 centres. After Mumbai, Delhi is emerging as a city with a serious situation. We are closely monitoring it.” Shah also asked UP and Haryana to study the V K Paul panel report on capping testing fee at Rs 2,400 and implement the same after “internal discussions”. “Shah also said the committee decided on rates for Covid-19 beds and treatment, and these rates could also be applied to hospitals in NCR after consultations,” an MHA statement said.
Reddy said, “In containment zones, all people, whether symptomatic or not, will be tested for free. The Centre will fund expenses. Delhi currently has 431 ventilators. The Centre has decided to provide 500 additional ventilators. Similarly, the ambulance strength will be increased from 350 to 1,000. The Centre has till now given Rs 277 crore to Delhi government for equipment. As many as 7.32 lakh N95 masks, 4.41 lakh PPE kits and 25 lakh HCQ tablets have also been given.”
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