Amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in Delhi, Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that COVID-19 tests will be doubled in the next two days and will be tripled in next six days in the capital. Shah informed of the decision after a meeting with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Lieutenant General Anil Baijal and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Apart from ramping up the tests, comprehensive house-to-house health surveys will be conducted and testing will start at polling terminals in containment zones. Shah also informed that the centre will be providing 500 railway coaches to Delhi to overcome bed shortage in the capital.
CM Kejriwal tweeted after the meeting: “Extremely productive meeting between Delhi government and Centre. Many key decisions have been taken. We will fight against Corona together.”
In another development, the Centre has decided to comprise a committee of senior doctors in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) who could provide telephonic guidance to doctors at small hospitals in Delhi. Explaining the purpose, Shah said, “Best systems can be communicated down to the bottom.” For updated and better communication a helpline number for the same will be launched on Monday, Shah added.
For the treatment of coronavirus infections at private hospitals in Delhi, the centre has formed a committee under the chairmanship of Vinod Paul, NITI Aayog Member and Convener of the Empowered Group of Medical Emergency Management Plan. For COVID-19 treatment and testing, private hospitals will provide 60 percent of their corona beds at minimal rate, the formed committed decided. “The committee will submit its report by Monday,” Shah said.
In the meeting, the central government also decided on new guidelines for the funeral of deceased patients to reduce the waiting period. As many voluntary and non-profit organisations have contributed to relief work amid the COVID-19 crisis, the government has decided to rope in Scout Guides, NCC, NSS and other NGOs as volunteers in health services.
Lending more help, the centre also decided to provide five senior officers to the Delhi government who can help with the containment of coronavirus infection in the capital. Health departments under the central and Delhi governments along with other departments have been instructed to ensure that all decisions taken in the meetings are implemented with immediate effect.