Amid the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in the national capital, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Monday said his government has “sufficient stock” of diagnostic kits for 10-15 days, but more units are being procured to meet the target of conducting 40,000 tests daily.
He underscored that the doubling rate of coronavirus cases in Delhi was 85 days and, therefore, it was at a “comfort level” as of today.
The Kejriwal government was doing “aggressive testing” and the aim was to ensure no case was left untraced, the health minister said.
Jain was interacting with reporters, a day after Delhi recorded 2,024 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike in August, taking the tally to over 1.73 lakh, while the death toll rose to 4,426.
This was also the first time that the daily cases breached the 2000-mark in the last nearly 50 days.
Asked how the government will meet the target of conducting 40,000 COVID-19 tests daily, as announced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently, he said the Delhi government is doing “aggressive testing” and the aim is to ensure no positive case is left untraced.
“We have sufficient stock of testing kits for 10-15 days, but more units are being procured from the market to meet the 40,000 tests per day target,” Jain said.
“Our team is ready, we are making all efforts and very soon, results will be seen on meeting the target,” he added.
Asked if he is getting cooperation from the Centre on this matter, he said, “Centre has no objection to it, that itself is a big help”.
Asked about Union Health minister Harsh Vardhan’s remarks on Sunday where he said “we should have a very significant control” over COVID-19 by Diwali, Jain said, if he’s (Vardhan) speaking, he must have been advised by some experts. “So let’s hope it is so,” he said.
On RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests, both of which are being conducted in Delhi, he said, those showing symptoms will be administered RT-PCR tests, and people testing positive in rapid antigen tests will also be administered RT-PCR tests.
“Our mantra is trace, test and isolate. Even if one person with COVID-19 infection is left untraced, he or she can spread it to many others. So, we want to continue to test aggressively in all areas, so that no such case is left behind,” the health minister said.
The city government has already increased the duration of testing hours at hospitals and dispensaries, he said.
“We have 265 dispensaries and timing for getting tested at these facilities have been increased to five hours (9 AM-2 PM) from three-hour duration earlier. Also, timings have been increased at our 35 hospitals for the same. We have about 300 such testing points in Delhi where tests are being conducted daily,” Jain said.
The number of Rapid Antigen Tests conducted on Sunday stood at 13,556 while the RT-PCR, CBNAAT and True NAAT tests figures were 6,881, in all adding 20,437, according to the latest health bulletin.
The total number of tests done till date in Delhi stands at 15,69,096 while the number of tests done per million, as on Sunday, was 82,584, it said.
Also, on Sunday, the number of containment zones jumped to 820 from 803 the previous day, Jain said a large number of people have started to go out in public without wearing masks and asserted that teams have been deployed to issue challans for breach of public safety norms to contain COVID-19.
He said the police too has been authorized to penalize such violators.
The minister said the recovery rate is near 90 per cent and even if cases are not high, it should not be a problem.
In COVID hospitals, there are over 14,000 beds and out of about 4,000 patients admitted, less than 3,000 are from Delhi and the occupant rate is less than 30 per cent, he added.
“Our city is still reeling under the spell of the first wave of this pandemic. Second wave is said to have come if many cases start coming up after a gap of 6-8 months post the first wave when no new cases are found,” Jain said. – PTI