Centre asks Delhi to ramp up testing, surveillance

NEW DELHI: With Covid-19 cases rising rapidly in Delhi, the Centre has asked the AAP government to immediately ramp up testing, coupled with aggressive surveillance, contact tracing and stringent containment and perimeter control of hotspots after a review of the situation by health minister Harsh Vardhan. The Centre’s intervention comes a day after the Delhi government narrowed the testing pool by changing the criteria.
Vardhan said the situation in Delhi was “worrisome” as testing remained very low despite a high positivity rate of 25.7% (cases confirmed per 100 tests) last week and several districts of the capital reporting figures above 38%. “Rising cases, high positivity rate and low testing levels in many districts are worrisome,” Vardhan said during the review with senior Delhi government officials through video-conferencing.
Sources said the Centre is concerned over reports of the state government not being able to coordinate with hospitals, both central and state-run, resulting in disputes over medical bulletins, patients having problems in admissions and inadequate information about bed availability. The overall rate of new infections and deaths in the past 7-10 days has been a serious cause of concern.