Centre ramps up testing, bed capacity as Delhi battles COVID wave

Union Home Ministry orders door-to-door surveys, increases daily tests to 60,000 and arranges more beds, ICUs in COVID facilities; Delhi government caps number of people attending marriages to 50

Photo for representational purpose only: PTI

Door-to-door survey, mobile testing vans, deployment of more doctors and paramedics, as well as equipping hospitals with additional ICU beds, ventilators and BIPAP machines are among the key troubleshooting measures taken by the Union Home Ministry on Wednesday (November 18) to check the rise in COVID-19 cases in Delhi.

According to the Union Home Ministry, while medical teams will conduct house-to-house surveys, 10 teams will visit more than 100 private hospitals to take stock of testing capacity and identify additional beds.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is also helping the government in increasing testing and reaching a testing level of 60,000 RT-PCR tests per day by the end of November.

Related news: No lockdown needed in Delhi due to third COVID wave: Health minister

“ICMR also to help in augmenting capacity by 2,000 tests of existing Delhi labs by deploying more manpower, increasing number of shifts & placing more equipment & thru engagement with pvt sector labs. Aiming to reach testing level of 60,000 RT-PCR tests per day by November end,” spokesperson of the Ministry of Home Affairs tweeted on Wednesday.

The ICMR will also deploy 10 mobile testing labs for COVID-19 with a total capacity of 20,000 tests in a phased manner beginning next week.

The measures are being taken on the directions of Home Minister Amit Shah, who held a meeting with key stakeholders on the pandemic situation on Sunday.

The Delhi government on Wednesday also capped the number of people allowed at weddings to 50 from an earlier 200, amid fears of the wedding season contributing to cases.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government is awaiting the nod of the government to allow it to shut markets for a few days, as they may develop into potential COVID-19 hotspots.

The Home Ministry is also taking the assistance of DRDO to increase ICU beds at its COVID-19 facility near the domestic airport.

“DRDO to add 250 ICU beds to its already existing 250 ICU beds and also create 35 BIPAP beds in next 3 t 4 days at its COVID hospital near Delhi airport,” the MHA spokesperson tweeted.

The ministry said an additional force of 45 doctors and 160 paramedics from CAPFs have reached Delhi for deployment at the DRDO hospital and another COVID care centre in Chattrapur while the remaining will reach in the next few days.

Related news: Kejriwal gears up for third wave of COVID-19 in Delhi

The national capital has so far recorded 4,95,598 cases.

The number of new COVID-19 cases saw an alarming spike when the national capital logged in 6,396 cases on Tuesday, almost double of 3,797 on Monday.


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