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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Uptick in Covid cases, Kejriwal says double testing to 40,000 per day by next week

On Wednesday, 1,693 new cases were recorded, up from 1,544 on Tuesday.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: August 27, 2020 11:09:25 am
delhi coronavirus latest updates, delhi coronavirus testing, delhi covid testing, delhi covid-19 testing, delhi covid cases, delhi covid death toll, arvind kejriwal, delhi city newsA health worker collects a sample from a woman for COVID-19 test via Rapid Antigen kit, at a Delhi govt school.

With an uptick in the number of daily cases reported in Delhi, 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 to follow if the virus is to be controlled.

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. At present, Delhi is testing around 18,000 persons per day on an average. The positivity rate, meanwhile, has increased from 6% to around 8% over the past two weeks. At its peak, Delhi was testing 25,000 people per day, largely through Rapid Antigen Tests.

After a meeting with Health Minister Satyendar Jain and senior officials, the CM said: “Over the past month and a half, we have managed to bring Corona under control to an extent. While daily cases and the death rate have been low and the 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 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, 2,900 were occupied by those from Delhi, while the remaining 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 oximeters to those who have recovered from Covid and, if required, oxygen concentrators will also 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, a very small number, have also died after recovering from the disease. Even Satyendar Jain ji took time to recover despite testing negative. Oximeters 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 were more confident 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.

Over the past few days, the CM said, there had been instances of 7-8 people of the same family testing positive. This, he said, was because people were delaying getting tested.

“Due to overconfidence, some people think they will recover even after they have symptoms. They do not realise that if they do not get tested in time, they end up infecting many people around them eventually,” he said.

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