Delhi records 2 more COVID-related deaths; Kejriwal announces 5-point plan to contain spread

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New Delhi, Apr 7 () Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced a five-point action plan to contain the spread of coronavirus in the national capital which recorded two more deaths and 51 new cases taking the overall number of COVID-19 patients to 576.

Listing the five Ts -- testing, tracing, treatment, team-work and tracking and monitoring -- of the government's strategy, Kejriwal said one lakh random rapid anti-body blood tests for COVID-19 will be conducted in the city's hotspot areas.

The Chief Minister's Office tweeted that of the 576 cases, 333 are linked to those who attended Tablighi Jamaat's Nizamuddin centre.Advertisement

It also said nine patients have so far died after being infected due to coronavirus.

Addressing a press conference via video link, Kejriwal said the Delhi government will take over private hospitals and 12,000 rooms of hotels in a phased manner if coronavirus cases constantly rise and reach up to active 30,000 cases in the city.

The chief minister said the government has earmarked 400 beds in three private hospitals - Max Saket (318 beds), Apollo (50 beds) and Gangaram Colemet (42 beds). He said the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (1,500 beds), G B Pant Hospital (500), Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (450) have been declared as COVID-19 dedicated hospitals.

"At present, there are 2,950 beds reserved for COVID-19 cases. If the number of patients crosses 3000, we will use 1500 beds at GTB hospital following which we will have arrangements for 4,500 cases," Kejriwal said.

So far, there are 523 corona positive cases in the national capital, the CM said. According to the plan, government will make arrangements in banquet halls and dharamsalas to accommodate 10,000 COVID-19 patients who don't have medical history of diseases such as liver, heart and they are below 50 years of age. "Without large-scale testing, the virus could spread. South Korea through large scale testing identified affected people. We are going to start testing at a large scale. "Fifty thousand kits have been ordered and delivery has started. We will do one lakh rapid tests from Friday when delivery of testing kits will start" the CM said.Advertisement

According to the government, rapid anti-body blood tests will be conducted in hotspot areas as suggested by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The results of the antibody tests, similar to other blood tests, are available in 15-30 minutes.

The chief minister said that rapid tests will be conducted in hotspot areas like Nizamuddin and Dilshad Garden. The Tablighi Jamaat's Nizamuddin Markaz has emerged as a major hotspot in the country.

"We will give the police phone numbers of Tablighi Jamaat event attendees to trace and ascertain whether they moved in nearby areas," he said.Advertisement

Kejriwal said the government will effectively trace people who came in contact with COVID-19 infected patients, adding that phone numbers of 27,702 persons who have been directed for self-quarantine have been given to the police to check their movement.

The sealing of areas where affected people have been found is also going on, he said.

"Serious coronavirus patients having other ailments, and those above 50 years of age will be kept in hospitals. Those less ill and below 50 years of age will be kept at facilities in dharamsalas and banquet halls," he said.Advertisement

The government has not shared details yet on those hotels where 12,000 will be taken over by it.

The requirement of ventilators and other equipment has also been planned. In case of 30,000 patients, 400 ventilators and 1200 oxygen support systems will be needed, he said, adding that the government has made much preparation of it. "There was shortage of PPE kits but the Centre has allocated 27,000 kits that will available in next 1-2 days. We have also ordered these kits and delivery will start from next week," he said.

Talking about the fourth "T" of his government's action plan, Kejriwal said that all states are working as a team against coronavirus, and doctors and nurses are important part of it.Advertisement

"All state governments are working together to deal with COVID-19, rising above politics. People are also main part of the team and they should stay home and follow the ongoing lockdown," he said, adding he will talk to all MPs of Delhi on Wednesday on the issue of coronavirus.

Under fifth "T" of action plan, Kejriwal said he was personally monitoring the cases of coronavirus, adding that it is his responsibility to track and monitor each and every case of COVID-19 in the national capital. In another development, the Out-Patient Department at Delhi State Cancer Institute has been shut and patients are being temporarily shifted to a private hospital after several DSCI staffers tested positive for COVID-19, a senior official said.Advertisement

A day before, two doctors and 16 paramedic tested positive for coronavirus at DSCI.

Earlier, doctors at two mohalla clinics and Maharaja Agrasen Hospital in Punjabi Bagh were also tested positive for coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has urged the Muslim community in the national capital to stay indoors and follow lockdown restrictions by not gathering near mosques or in streets for Shab-e-Barat on Wednesday in the wake of coronavirus threat, officials said.Advertisement

It has roped in local clerics and community leaders to persuade the people in this regard and public announcements are being made including from mosques cautioning people against gathering at any place. Posters have also been put up in this regard.

Shab-e-Barat, also known as the night of forgiveness, will be observed on April 8. Members of the Muslim community visit graveyards and offer prayers in memory of their loved ones. BUN VIT KND PR RTRT

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