Dr. Harsh Vardhan expresses concern at rise in COVID-19 positivity rate in 6 Delhi districts.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday expressed concern at the rise in COVID-19 positivity rate in six districts in the national capital.

These districts are North, Central, North East, East, North West and South East districts of Delhi, which are seeing surge in coronavirus cases.

Comparing the COVID trajectory of Delhi with that of the country, Dr Vardhan said, “The recovery rate of India is currently more than 92 per cent while that of Delhi is 89 per cent. Against a national case fatality rate of 1.49 per cent, Delhi continues to have a fatality rate of 1.71 per cent.”

The health minister urged the officers to instil COVID appropriate behaviour among the masses and blunt the momentum of the infectious disease by the end 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 a large number of contacts but also by completing the exercise within the first 72 hours itself.

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 increase the number of ICU beds in AIIMS (Delhi) and other central hospitals to augment the present 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 discussed the micro-analysis of COVID deaths in the various hospitals of Delhi.

He cautioned 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 working to inculcate changes in Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for more efficient containment of the disease spread.

Baijal said that Delhi administration has been cautioned by experts about possible surges because of ongoing festive season and facilitation of inter-state transport.

Dr Vardhan reiterated the government’s commitment to vaccinate 20-25 crore citizens including those involved in frontline healthcare by mid-2021.

While 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, informed the Central government.

Noting that false-negative results might give way to complacency among the COVID infected, Dr Vardhan stressed for mandatory testing of all RAT negative persons if they develop ILI/SARI symptoms afterwards.


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