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Govt Attributes Festivals, Laxity in Adhering to Protocol Behind Surge in Covid-19 Cases in Delhi

People at Rajpath lawns in the backdrop of India Gate, amid the coronavirus pandemic, in New Delhi, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020.  (Image: PTI)

People at Rajpath lawns in the backdrop of India Gate, amid the coronavirus pandemic, in New Delhi, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. (Image: PTI)

At a high level meeting, chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, the COVID-19 situation in Delhi was discussed threadbare.

The government on Monday attributed the surge in active COVID-19 cases in Delhi to the festive season, greater movement of people and laxity in adhering to safe COVID behaviour and said efforts will be made to increase testing in critical zones. It also emphasised that Metro travel should be carefully regulated as per the SOPs.

At a high level meeting, chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, the COVID-19 situation in Delhi was discussed threadbare. "The recent surge in the number of active cases was attributed to the festival season, which has witnessed greater movement of people, accompanied by laxity in adhering to the basic principles of safe COVID behaviour," a home ministry statement said.

The hospital bed situation was reported to be comfortable with 57 per cent of the 15,789 dedicated beds being vacant. While the new COVID cases and total active cases are going up, the administration is focusing on testing, contact tracing and treatment.

It was, however, highlighted both by the Delhi government officials and Delhi Police Commissioner that there has been no let up in enforcement and awareness generation. The strategy to contain spread of COVID-19 in Delhi, especially keeping in view the festival season and decreasing temperatures accompanied by rising pollution was discussed at length with representatives of the Ministry of Health and the health experts who were also present in the meeting.

It was decided to concentrate efforts in certain key areas, such as targeted RT-PCR testing in sensitive and critical zones such as restaurants, market places, barber shops and salons; gear up the availability of medical resources including beds, ICUs, and ventilators as a preemptive measure; ensure high degree of contact tracing and monitoring of quarantined contacts so as to suppress and break the chain of transmission, the statement said. It was also decided to enhance enforcement selectively, accompanied by greater awareness creation through targeted IEC (Information, Education and Communication) campaigns; and ensuring that all cases under home isolation were monitored and shifted to hospitals well in time, before any deterioration in their medical condition.

It was also emphasised that Metro travel should be carefully regulated, strictly in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that has been issued in this regard, the statement said.


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