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Testing to be doubled amid ‘marginal rise’ of covid-19 in Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal

Test and isolate, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, is the strategy that Delhi will continue to follow.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: August 26, 2020 2:51:47 pm
At a testing centre in New Delhi (Express photo/Amit Mehra)

With an uptick in the number of new cases being recorded in Delhi each day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the city will double the number of people it tests a day to around 40,000. Test and isolate, he said, is the strategy that the city will continue to follow.

On Wednesday, 1,693 new cases were recorded, up from 1,544 on Tuesday. Over the past week, the number of new cases per day has risen from an average of around 1,100 to around 1,350 per day.

The CM held a meeting with health minister Satyendar Jain and senior officials to discuss the increase in cases. After the meeting, he said: “Over the past month and a half, we have managed to bring Corona under control to an extent. While daily cases have been low as compared to earlier, and the death rate low and recovery rate high, there has been an increase since August 17. We cannot let the situation deteriorate again. There were 1,544 cases yesterday and 1,693 cases today,” he said.

He also said that the other parameters were good. “It doesn’t seem like the intensity of the disease is increasing. The number of deaths has been decreasing, and if we look at August alone, our case fatality ratio is 1.4%. We have managed to remain under 20 deaths a day, when once this number was over 100,” he said.

Around 3,700 hospital beds out of over 14,000 are occupied at present. Kejriwal said that of these, 3,900 were from Delhi, while 800 were from other states.

Pushing for aggressive testing, Kejriwal said that the government had set a target of 40,000 tests a day. “The best strategy is to test and isolate. We have to go in for aggressive identification as it is the best way to control the spread,” he said.

The government is also going to provide oxymetres to those who have recovered from Covid and if need be, oxygen concentrators will be sent to their homes. This, Kejriwal said, was being done because many people who have recovered from Covid are still reeling from symptoms such as breathlessness. “Some people have also died after recovering from the disease. Even Satyendar Jain ji took time to recover despite testing negative. Oxymetres and oxygen concentrators will be made available to them as well. The one good thing is that since July 14, not a single person has died in home isolation,” he said. Kejriwal also said that while he was happy that people in Delhi had more confidence now to venture out, it should not bring complacency.

“Enforcement of rules to wear masks and ensure social distance has to be stricter. I am happy there is confidence among people, but there should be no complacency. We can’t let Covid spread aggressively again,” he said. The fine for not wearing a mask in Rs 500 in Delhi.

Delhi, meanwhile, has also become the first state to cross the 90 per cent recovery rate of novel Coronavirus patients. More than 1.46 lakh people out of the 1.62 lakh infected so far have been declared to have recovered.

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