Covid-19: Home secretary to chair meeting to rework Delhi’s containment strategy today

Home secretary Ajay Bhalla will chair a crucial meeting with union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan and the Delhi chief secretary on Monday to rework the containment strategy of Delhi, a day after home minister Amit Shah reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the national capital.

Delhi, which is facing a huge surge in Covid-19 cases every day, is going through its worst phase of the pandemic so far, and its Covid-19 management strategy is facing intense scrutiny.

According to two officials present at the meeting on Sunday, Niti Aayog’s Dr VK Paul described the Delhi situation as “unprecedented” and added that “it is likely to become worse”.

He said Delhi’s containment strategy has gone haywire and contact tracing must be followed up with mandatory home isolation.

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On Monday, the three top officials will sit together to rework Delhi’s containment strategy. Delhi has over 80 containment zones and there is a distinct possibility that more areas may be brought into containment zones.

Officials also revealed that the issue of reimposition of some lockdown provisions in the capital was raised but no further discussion took place.

Paul’s presentation pointed out that Delhi’s positivity rate has increased from 5% in July to 14% now.

Paul also advised officials that they should not count the data for the last two days as there would have been lesser tests anyway due to Diwali.

He pointed out that in July- August, the death rate was 10 per day and now it is over 100 daily. He said the case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.5% would increase.

According to the presentation, on November 11, Delhi registered 361 per million cases, the highest ever anywhere in India, surpassing the worst of Mumbai (140 per million) and Chennai’s 214 per million.

He said that Delhi must substantially increase ICU facilities, double the daily testing rate, and augment home care facilities as a large number of people are in home care.

He said more doctors and nurses need to be mobilised and that retired doctors and nurses, and senior and junior residents must be tapped.

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