NEW DELHI: Three days after the Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired several high-level meetings in the national capital to check on its Covid-19 preparations, the testing rate in Delhi was capped at Rs 2400 on Wednesday. Through a series of tweets, Union Home Ministry on Wednesday announced a series of steps taken to improve the COVID-19 situation in Delhi.
“As per the directives of HM @AmitShah in providing relief to the common man. High-level expert committee’s report on #COVID19 testing rates received by @MoHFW_INDIA has been further sent to Delhi Govt for necessary action. It has been decided to fix the test rate at Rs 2,400,” the spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs announced through their official Twitter handle.
40 laboratories, including 17 public and 23 private facilities, are conducting tests for COVID-19 in Delhi. At present, getting tested at government facilities is free but the cost of getting tested at private laboratories varies between Rs 3500 to Rs 4500.
The spokesperson also announced that health surveys in Delhi had been started on the directions of the Union Home Minister. “To improve contact mapping in Delhi's containment zones, health surveys have been started on the directions of HM @AmitShah. Out of the total population of 230466 in 242 containment zones, survey of 177692 people was conducted b/w 15-16 June. Remaining will be covered by 20 June," read one of tweets
In an official statement, the ministry said that door-to-door health surveys of residents have been undertaken in 242 containment zones of Delhi, covering 77% of the population in these zones and survey of remaining people will be completed by June 20.
The Home Ministry also announced that from June 18, testing for novel Coronavirus would happen through the new Rapid Antigen methodology approved by ICMR.
“Delhi would be given priority for these kits. 169 centres have also been set up across Delhi,” the Home Ministry spokesperson announced. In pursuance of Shah’s June 14 decision to double the tests, 16618 test samples were collected June 15 and June 16 and reports of 6510 tests are out while remaining test reports are expected by June 18, the ministry said, adding that till June 14, daily sample collection varied between 4000-4500 tests.
Amit Shah has been holding back-to-back meetings, including discussions with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and leaders of all Delhi based political parties, in Delhi after it reported highest Covid-19 cases following Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
On June 14, besides announcing ramping up testing, Shah had also announced that 500 railway coaches will be converted into well-equipped COVID-19 care centres to enhance Delhi's bed capacity by 8000 beds and private hospitals will have to offer 60% of beds dedicated for COVID-19 patients at a cheaper rate.
Shah had ordered for psychosocial counselling of doctors and nurses engaged in the service of humanity through the fight against coronavirus and directed installation of CCTV cameras in COVID-19 wards of Delhi government-run hospitals. On Monday had also paid a surprise visit to the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) hospital.
Fighting COVID in Delhi
Presently, cost of testing at Private Labs: Rs 3500 to Rs 4500
Cost of testing at government facilities: Free
Number of tests done till June 15: 3,04,483
40 laboratories, including 17 public and 23 private facilities test for COVID-19 in Delhi
After centre’s June 14 decision to double the tests being carried out in Delhi, 16618 test samples were collected June 15 and June 16
Till June 14, daily sample collection varied between 4000-4500 tests