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Delhi Govt to Launch Aggressive Contact Tracing of Coronavirus Patients, Says Health Minister

PTI

Last Updated: August 28, 2020, 23:38 IST

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain (File photo/PTI)

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain (File photo/PTI)

Satyendar Jain said the AAP government is committed to doubling the COVID-19 test from the present 20,000 per day to 40,000 per day within a week in the national capital.

The Delhi government will scale up COVID-19 testing through its network of 300 dispensaries and hospitals, and start aggressive contact tracing of coronavirus patients in the city, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday.
The health minister said the AAP government is committed to doubling the COVID-19 test from the present 20,000 per day to 40,000 per day within a week in the national capital.
Jain said the recent increase in number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi was due to various reasons, including patients from outside seeking treatment here, return of migrants who left Delhi during lockdown as well as increased testing.
“People can have free COVID-19 tests at the dispensaries whose time has been extended to five hours from 9 AM to 2 PM. Even if dispensaries conduct on average 100 tests and hospitals 200 tests per day, the target of scaling up testing to daily 40,000 from the currently around 20,000, will be met,” he said when asked how government plans to scale up testing in the city. He said 300 dispensaries and hospitals are conducting free COVID-19 presently.
The government will also create awareness about this move. Testing in containment zones and districts will go side by side, he told reporters.
“Presently, out of 3,700 corona patients in Delhi government hospitals, around 30 per cent patients are from other states. Also, the number of tests were lower as people stayed home during the recent festivals. Now tests have increased and so has the number of positive cases,” he said.
His comments come days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said COVID-19 tests will be doubled in view of the “marginal” increase in coronavirus cases in the city.
“Delhi has the highest rate of per million testing in the country. We are working on the strategy of aggressive contact tracing and testing and Corona will be completely checked if the strategy succeeds. After doubling the number of tests to 40,000 we will trace and test all the contacts of COVID-19 patients,” he said.
The health minister said Delhi was still “halfway behind” the peak of the pandemic and the rise in number of positive cases in last few days was not a second wave of the COVID-19 infection as was claimed by some experts.
“Its a short duration rise. Delhi is still halfway behind the peak. The positivity rate is around 7 per cent which at one point of time was 30 per cent,” he said.
Jain said the government has the availability of adequate number of kits to double the testing to 40,000 per day.