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Target 10,000 tests per day: Testing, surveys to be scaled up in Delhi

With the number of Covid cases in the city growing rapidly over the past two weeks, the Centre has become more involved in the management of the pandemic in Delhi.

Written by Mallica Joshi , Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi | June 15, 2020 1:25:04 am
Target 10,000 tests per day: Testing, surveys to be scaled up in Delhi Suspected Covid-19 patients wait to be examined by medics at Lok Nayak hospital. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

Delhi plans to hold door-to-door surveys in all containment zones and increase its Covid testing capacity to 10,000 per day in the next two days. The Delhi Chief Secretary held a meeting with district health and administration officers on Sunday after the Union Home Minister Amit Shah directed that Delhi’s testing capacity be ramped up in the city in the coming week.

At present, Delhi can test 8,600 samples a day. According to the Delhi health bulletin, Delhi tested 7,353 samples between Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, 2,224 new cases and 56 deaths were reported.

Shah also held a meeting with mayors and officials from municipal corporations, along with the L-G and Chief Minister in the evening.

According to Mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Avatar Singh, Shah said that the Delhi administration should reach out to every house in containment zones to track the infection and address issues being faced by residents. There were 242 active containment zones in the city on Sunday.

The Centre, meanwhile, also constituted three teams to inspect Delhi hospitals to assess capacity and patient care for Covid cases. The city has over 100 hospitals, and nursing homes with over 50 beds, where Covid patients can be admitted.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted on Sunday: “The government has constituted three teams to inspect Delhi hospitals to guide them on clinical management of Covid-19 cases. The teams will make rapid assessment of existing capacity, patient care amenities and associated aspects of Covid19 to enable informed, efficient and timely decision making.”

Each committee will have four members, one each from AIIMS, union health ministry, Delhi government representative and the municipal corporation. The teams will work with big dedicated Covid facilities that are handling a bulk of the cases.

With the number of Covid cases in the city growing rapidly over the past two weeks, the Centre has become more involved in the management of the pandemic in Delhi.

According to sources, while the Centre has so far largely let Delhi government handle the Covid crisis, back to back meetings on Sunday with various functionaries spelt a change in stance.

It also deputed six IAS officers to the city to “assist” the Delhi government in managing Covid-19.

“As the number of cases has risen, Delhi has come into focus. The Centre can’t ignore for too long that the spread has taken such a deep hold in the national capital. Many of its own officers have been infected. In such a scenario, leaving everything to the state government was not something that the Centre was willing to do anymore,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.

A Delhi government official said the government went into the meetings on Saturday and Sunday with the aim to work alongside the Centre. “The Centre has shifted its focus to Delhi only now, even though the Delhi government has been seeking their help for some time in different ways. At a time like this, we were sure we did not want any bickering. The Centre has heard our demands and assured us of all help,” an official said.

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