Increased testing, more beds: How Delhi is planning to fight Covid-19 third wave

Delhi has been reeling under the third wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak since the last week of October when daily infections started to spurt. On October 28, the daily number of Covid-19 cases breached the 5,000-mark for the first time since the outbreak began. On November 11, the city reported another record hike as more than 8,000 people contracted Covid-19 in a day.

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Between November 1 and 16, over 101,000 Covid-19 infections were added to Delhi’s tally. In this period, the city recorded most infections (8,593 on November 11) and deaths (104 on November 12) in a single day.

While the city battles the third wave of Covid-19, authorities have attributed the rise in cases to crowding due to the festivities and the onset of winter. On Tuesday, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said that people from outsides are getting themselves tested in Delhi, which is leading to the rise in the number of infections.

Meanwhile, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said the Centre and all agencies are making “double efforts” to control the situation.

Here is what the Delhi government is doing to check the spread of the coronavirus disease:

1. The government has decided double testing in Delhi between 100,000 and 120,000. So far, the authorities were testing up to 60,000 samples in a day. The testing will be increased while making sure a balance remains between antigen and RT-PCR tests, officials have said.

2. On Tuesday, the Delhi government sent a letter to the Centre seeking permission to reduce the number of people at weddings to 50. Earlier, the limit was set at 200.

3. It also sought powers to close markets in the hotspots of the city and close shops that are not adhering to the Covid-19 protocols.

4. The number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds will also be increased to 6,000 in the next few days with the help of the Indian Army and central government.

5. Under the containment strategy, authorities have also decided to increase house-to-house surveillance of active cases in containment zones and other vulnerable pockets. As many as 7,000-8,000 teams will be engaged for this exercise, an increase from the existing 3,000 teams that are currently involved.

(With agency inputs)

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