Isolate contacts of patients, re-draw containment zones: Shah tells Delhi govt

Home Minister advises Delhi government to follow recommendations of high-level committee amid spike in COVID-19 cases

Shah said all COVID-19 positive patients will have to go to COVID care centres and those who have facilities at home and have no co-morbidity can avail home isolation in Delhi. Photo: PTI

Union Minister Amit Shah on Sunday (June 21) asked the Delhi government to follow the COVID-19-related instructions of the high-level committee set up by him including quarantining contacts of all positive patients, re-mapping all containment zones and reporting every single death to the Centre.

In a virtual meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Shah quoting the recommendations of the VK Paul Committee, said contact tracing and medical services in COVID-19 affected areas should be strengthened and containment zone strategy revamped for effective containment of the virus.

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With the number of cases heading for the 60,000 mark after 3,000 people tested positive on Sunday, another crucial meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Monday is likely to discuss the recommendations of the expert panel.

The committee has also suggested to restrict activities in containment zones and keep vigil on houses outside these areas. It has said that Aarogya Setu and Itihaas apps should be jointly used to accomplish the task of contact tracing. The committee headed by VK Paul, member Niti Aayog, was set up by Shah on June 14.

The committee has also recommended that COVID-19 affected people should be treated in hospitals, COVID care centres or in home isolation. COVID care centres should function properly, and help of NGOs and volunteer groups should be taken for this job, the statement said.

As per the recommendations of the committee, every district of Delhi will be linked with a big hospital for extending appropriate medical help to people affected by the coronavirus. It has also charted a time table for accomplishing these tasks, it said. The committee has suggested that every case of death should be analysed from the point of when the person was admitted to hospital and from which area was the deceased brought.

The panel said it should be very important to find if the deceased was in home isolation and if he or she was brought to the hospital on time.

The home minister said all COVID-19 positive patients will have to go to COVID care centres and those who have facilities at home and have no co-morbidity can avail home isolation in Delhi.

The Centre should be informed as to how many people are in home isolation in the national capital, Shah said. He asked Delhi government authorities to take technical help for drawing the new or amended limits for containment zones in Delhi The new scheme should be ready by June 22, district level teams should formed by June 23, the amended or new limits of containment zones should be ready by June 26, hundred per cent survey of containment zones should be done by June 30 and a comprehensive survey for the rest of Delhi should be done by July 6, as per the timetable

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A sereological survey will be done for Delhi between June 27 and July 10 in which 20,000 people will be sample tested, the statement said. This will enable authorities to make a comprehensive analysis of the COVID-19 infection in Delhi and then a broad strategy can be prepared to combat the pandemic in the national capital, it said.

The Delhi government on Sunday also directed all district magistrates to ensure that the daily reported cases of coronavirus are verified within 24 hours and scale up their operations by constituting additional surveillance teams if needed.

It was the third day on the trot that over 3,000 fresh cases have been reported. On Saturday, Delhi had witnessed 3,630 cases, the highest single-day spike. On Friday, the number was 3,137. As many as 63 fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours. The death toll from the coronavirus now stands at 2,175 and the total number of cases at 59,746, according to the latest Delhi health department bulletin. The condition of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has improved and his fever has subsided, a day after he was administered plasma therapy at a private COVID-19 facility.

(With inputs from agencies)


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