The number of coronavirus patients in the national capital crossing 3,500, the Delhi government today upped its surveillance measures in containment zones, declaring that instead of once, the screening of all people in these areas will be done thrice in 14 days. If screening in any containment zone has not been conducted yet, it will be done within the next three days, the government’s order said.
Based on the findings, the government plans to break up the containment zones into smaller, specific units, which is expected to reduce the movement within the hotspots and help control the spread of the infection.
The decision was taken after the government noticed that the number of COVID-19 cases was increasing in the containment zones despite the multiple restrictions.
The matter was discussed on Tuesday with Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, where the Delhi government said the delay in test results was holding up the fine-tuning of containment zones. The delay in test results is sometimes stretching upto 10 days or more, the government had said, giving examples of Jehangirpuri and areas in southeast Delhi.
Delhi currently has 98 containment zones, 11 of which have a population of over 1 lakh.
On April 17, in its guidelines issued specifying red, orange and green zones, the Centre had said every person within the red hotspot zones should be tested with Rapid Test Kits and take an RT-PCR test if they prove positive.
But with the Chinese Rapid Test Kits proving inaccurate, the Delhi government has been doing a door-to-door survey, where one person of each household is asked if anyone is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. If case of an affirmative response, tests are being carried out.
In its order today, the Delhi government said now every person in every hotspot will be screened, which would involve questions about possible symptoms and a thermal screening.
According to the order issued by Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, every person living in containment zones will also be encouraged to download the government’s “Aarogya Setu” app, a key tool meant to contain coronavirus .
“A database of senior citizens and the persons having co-morbid conditions may be properly maintained for close monitoring and surveillance of such persons,” the order also said.