Centre's 12-point action plan to fight COVID-19 in Delhi: Details
As COVID-19 cases in Delhi continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Centre has announced a 12-point plan to tackle the coronavirus surge in the national capital. Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday evening chaired a meeting with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to review the situation in Delhi, following which a slew of measures to curb COVID-19 was announced. Here's more.
The 12-point plan adopted at the Sunday meeting comprises a number of measures to tackle COVID-19 in the national capital. It includes enhancing the medical infrastructure with additional ICU beds, extra oxygen cylinders, and deployment of more medical/healthcare staff, among other things. Doubling the COVID-19 testing in Delhi and monitoring of people who are in home isolation are also on the list of measures.
Apart from Home Minister Shah and Delhi CM Kejriwal, the high-level meeting on Sunday was attended by Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, and several senior officers of the Centre.
"COVID cases have been sharply rising ever since October 30. We still have a decent number of COVID beds, but ICU beds are fast getting exhausted," said Kejriwal after the meeting. "The Centre said that 500 ICU beds will be made available in the DRDO center in the next couple days and additionally another 250 in the coming days," he added.
#WATCH "Centre has assured 750 ICU beds will be made available at the DRDO center. The no. of #COVID19 tests conducted daily to be increased to over 1 lakh," says Delhi CM after review meeting called by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on COVID situation in Delhi pic.twitter.com/evolyJAaR9— ANI (@ANI) November 15, 2020
Over the past 12 days, Delhi has been witnessing a spike in the daily COVID-19 cases to unprecedented levels. After registering low numbers for a few weeks, it recorded 6,725 cases on November 3, above 7,000 on November 6, and an all-time high of 8,593 cases on November 11. Delhi's infection tally crossed 4.85 lakh on November 15, while the death toll reached 7,614.
To tackle the COVID-19 situation in Delhi, the Centre wants to increase the capacity of hospitals and step up the medical infrastructure there. It said 750 ICU beds at DRDO's COVID-19 care center in Dhaula Kuan would be provided. Also, RT-PCR tests in Delhi would be doubled. The number of daily COVID-19 tests would be increased from 60,000 to 1,00,000, according to Kejriwal.
The Centre plans to make use of Delhi labs to full capacity to increase testing. The Health Ministry and ICMR would also deploy mobile testing vans in high-risk areas. Also, more hospital beds with oxygen facilities would be provided at the 10,000-bed Sardar Patel COVID-19 Care Centre in Chhattarpur. And, some MCD-run hospitals would be designated as hospitals for people with mild COVID-19 symptoms.
As part of the action plan, dedicated multi-departmental teams would visit Delhi's private hospitals to review the display of information about the availability of beds and medical infrastructure there. Also, the central para-military forces would send their doctors and para-medical staff to Delhi soon. Moreover, containment strategies like contact tracing, screening, and setting up of containment zones would also be reviewed.
The Centre also said a plasma donation protocol would be prepared to handle critical COVID-19 cases. NITI Aayog member VK Paul-led panel would soon submit a report on the same. The government would provide additional oxygen cylinders, high-flow nasal cannulas, and other necessary equipment to minimize loss of lives. Home-isolated COVID-19 patients would be tracked and moved to hospitals immediately as per the requirement.