Five people tested positive for COVID-19 in Delhi Wednesday, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the capital to 35. The new cases include a person with a history of foreign travel and four local transmissions. So far, one person has died of the disease, while five have been discharged following treatment.
Gearing up for phase 3 of the outbreak, which could see community transmission, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had Tuesday formed a five-member committee to oversee the crisis. Dr S K Sarin, head of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), leads the panel, which will file its initial report in a few days.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Sarin said: “If you have centralised admission rather than multiple hospitals, whether it is public or private, I think you can have a more focussed approach. Centralised means you can have two-three big hospitals rather than multiple hospitals so that infectivity is contained, and whichever hospital has patients admitted, that hospital will have to be virtually closed. We will assess and give suggestions to the CM; the final call has to be taken by the government.”
In Delhi, six hospitals have been designated to collect samples for coronavirus testing — Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, Lok Nayak Hospital, Deendayal Upadhyay Hospital, Babasaheb Ambedkar Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital and Janakpuri Super Specialty Hospital.
Samples are sent to AIIMS, NCDC, RML, ILBS and LHMC for testing. Over the last two days, ICMR has increased testing centres by roping in private labs across the country.
Highlighting the need for more testing, he said the number of testing centres has to be increased during phase 3. “At present, ILBS is among the few labs offering testing facilities… But, if numbers increase, it will be difficult. Now the government of India has allowed private labs, but our aim should be to have more testing facilities. More kits are being approved by ICMR and FDA. If kits are available, one can have quick results. Testing should become readily available,” he said.
“We should look at the possible ways by which healthcare workers can be protected, like prophylactic drugs such as hydroxychloroquine… Doctors and nurses working in hospitals at present are under huge stress. We need to see that healthcare workers are de-stressed and not hyper and worried,” said Dr Sarin.
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