Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Thursday expressed concerns at the increase in COVID-19 positivity rate in six districts in Delhi. These districts are North, Central, North East, East, North West and South East districts of Delhi, which are seeing surge in coronavirus cases.
Dr. Vardhan said, “The recovery rate of India is currently about 92 per cent while that of Delhi is 89 per cent. Against a national case death rate of 1.49 per cent, Delhi continues to possess a death rate of 1.71 per cent.” He said this comparing the COVID trajectory of Delhi with that of the country.
The health minister asked the officers to inculcate COVID appropriate behavior among the masses and reduce the momentum of this communicable disease by the top of the year, so that it loses its potency.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan noted that effective contact tracing is achieved not only by tracing an outsized number of contacts but also by completing the exercise within the primary 72 hours itself.
We discussed the need to further improve surveillance & testing, clinical management & steps to arrest surge in cases. pic.twitter.com/knHXr5OZw1
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) November 5, 2020
Bhushan requested the Delhi government to shift patients requiring critical care to the Defence Medical Hospital Facility in Dhaula-Kuan that has provision for 125 ICU beds.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain requested the central government to extend the amount of ICU beds in AIIMS (Delhi) and other central hospitals to reinforce this capacity which has come under strain.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sujeet Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) presented the trajectory of COVID in the various districts of Delhi.
Dr. Singh mentioned about the micro-analysis of COVID deaths in the various hospitals of Delhi. He warned the State health authorities to be alert in the forthcoming festive and winter season and requested for the formation of a committee of medical experts for better clinical management of COVID patients.
Lt Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal said that Delhi administration is functioning to inculcate changes in Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for more efficient containment of the disease spread. He said that Delhi administration has been cautioned by experts about possible surges due to ongoing festive season and facilitation of inter-state transport.
Dr. Vardhan continued the government’s commitment to vaccinate 20-25 crore citizens including those involved in frontline healthcare by mid-2021.
The Central government informed that Delhi continues to have a highly skewed RAT to RT-PCR ratio as 77 per cent of the tests are RAT based, the RT-PCR comprises only 23 per cent of the total tests.
Noting that false-negative results might subside to complacency among the COVID infected, Dr Vardhan stressed for mandatory testing of all RAT negative persons if they develop ILI/SARI symptoms afterwards