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1 lakh random rapid COVID-19 tests to be conducted in Delhi's hotspot areas: Kejriwal

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 07-04-2020 20:57 IST | Created: 07-04-2020 20:57 IST
1 lakh random rapid COVID-19 tests to be conducted in Delhi's hotspot areas: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Tuesday a five-point action plan to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the national capital and said one lakh random rapid anti-body tests for COVID-19 will be conducted in the city's hotspot areas. Addressing a press conference via video link, he said the Delhi government will take over private hospitals and 12,000 rooms of hotels in a phased manner if COVID-19 cases constantly rise and reach up to active 30,000 cases in the city.

The chief minister said that the government has earmarked 400 beds in three private hospitals -- Max Saket (318 beds), Apollo (50 beds) and Gangaram Colemet (42 beds). He said the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (1,500 beds), G B Pant Hospital (500), Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (450) have been declared as COVID-19 dedicated hospitals.

"At present, there are 2,950 beds reserved for COVID-19 cases. If the number of patients crosses 3000, we will use 1500 beds at GTB hospital following which we will have arrangements for 4,500 cases," Kejriwal said. So far, there are 523 COVID-19 positive cases in the national capital, the CM said.

According to the plan, the government will make arrangements in banquet halls and dharamsalas to accommodate 10,000 COVID-19 patients who don't have medical history of diseases such as liver, heart and they are below 50 years of age. Elaborating on the five-point action plan, the chief minister said, "It includes five Ts -- testing, tracing, treatment, team-work and tracking -- and monitoring." Under first 'T', the government will conduct one lakh random rapid testing in hotspot areas.

"Without largescale testing, the virus could spread. South Korea through large scale testing identified affected people. We are going to start testing at a large scale. "Fifty thousand kits have been ordered and delivery has started. We will do one lakh rapid tests from Friday when delivery of testing kits will start" the CM said.

According to the government, rapid anti-body blood tests will be conducted in hotspot areas as suggested by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The results of anti-body tests, similar to other blood tests, are available in 15-30 minutes.

The chief minister said that rapid tests will be conducted in hotspot areas such as Nizamuddin and Dilshad Garden. The Nizamuddin Markaz, the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat, has emerged as a major hotspot in the country. "We will give the police phone numbers of Tablighi Jamaat event attendees to trace and ascertain whether they moved in nearby areas," he said.

Kejriwal said the government will effectively trace people who came in contact with COVID-19 infected patients, adding that phone numbers of 27,702 persons who have been directed for self quarantine have been given to the police to check their movement. The sealing of areas where affected people have been found is also going on, he said.

"Serious coronavirus patients having other ailments, and those above 50 years of age will be kept in hospitals. Those less ill and below 50 years of age will be kept at facilities in dharamsalas and banquet halls," he said. The government has not shared details yet on those hotels where 12,000 will be taken over by it.

The requirement of ventilators and other equipments has also been planned. In case of 30,000 patients, 400 ventilators and 1200 oxygen support systems will be needed, he said, adding that the government has made much preparation of it.

"There was shortage of PPE kits but the Centre has allocated 27000 kits that will available in next 1-2 days. We have also ordered these kits and delivery will start from next week," he said. Talking about the fourth "T" of his government's action plan, Kejriwal said that all states are working as a team against the coronavirus, and doctors and nurses are important part of this team.

"All state governments are working together to deal with COVID-19, rising above politics. People are also main part of the team and they should stay home and follow the ongoing lockdown," he said. The CM said he will talk to all MPs of Delhi on Wednesday on the coronavirus outbreak.

Under fifth "T" of action plan, Kejriwal said he was personally monitoring the cases of coronavirus, adding that it is his responsibility to track and monitor each and every case of COVID-19 in the national capital. Meanwhile, Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai said he would give his one-month salary to the CM's Relief Fund for the AAP government's five-point action plan to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the national capital.

"I am giving one month salary to the 'CM Relief Fund' for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's five-point action plan for the fight against COVID-19," Rai tweeted in Hindi. PTI VIT BUN SMN SMN.


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