Citing the example of South Korea, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday said his government would considerably scale up testing to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has claimed seven lives in the national capital so far.
Till Monday afternoon, the city recorded 523 COVID-19 cases, with 20 new cases surfacing over the last 24 hours, said Kejriwal during his daily briefing on the administrative efforts to tackle the pandemic. Out of the total, 330 cases have a Markaz Tablighi Jamaat link, the CM said.
“Over the last 24 hours, 20 cases have come up, of which 10 have a Markaz link. Out of the total, 61 are patients with foreign travel history. Seven have died. As many as 25 patients are in Intensive Care Units and eight on ventilation. The rest are stable,” Kejriwal said.
The CM went on to refer to South Korea’s aggressive testing strategy to limit the spread of coronavirus infections in making a case for more testing in Delhi. He said by Friday, around 1 lakh new testing kits will arrive.
“You may have noticed a surge in the number of cases in Delhi. It is party due to the fact that many people evacuated from Markaz (in Nizamuddin) tested positive. Secondly, we have increased the number of tests. We want that whoever wishes to get tested can do so. It will help us identify patients and treat them. Their contacts can be traced and isolated. The more we test, the more successful we will be in containing the spread of coronavirus. South Korea, considered the most successful, had also adopted this technique. So we will also get more and more tests done in Delhi,” Kejriwal said.
Till around March 25, there were 100-125 daily tests in the city, which rose to 500 by April 1. At present, the number of daily tests has reached nearly 1,000, the CM said.
On arrangements of food for those struggling to make ends meet, Kejriwal said disbursal of 5 kg ration each to those not having ration cards will start on Tuesday. “We are getting full cooperation from the Centre in this regard. As of now, we will have ration for 10 lakh people. If needed, we will increase the allotment. Around 421 schools have been identified for this purpose,” he said.
Holders of valid ration cards — numbering around 72 lakh in the city — are entitled to 7.5 kg of ration each. The disbursal for April began in the first week of the month. Separately, at hunger relief centres, around 6.9 lakh people had lunch and 6.94 lakh had dinner on Sunday, Kejriwal said.
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