The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), under the Union Health Ministry, on Saturday began conducting a COVID-19 serological survey across Delhi under which blood samples from 20,000 persons will be tested to ascertain the presence of anti-bodies. The survey is scheduled from June 27 to July 10, said the Union Health Ministry.
The Delhi government has also been advised to conduct assessment of every individual who died due to COVID-19, as regards how many days before death the person was brought to hospital and from where, it added.
“A special focus has to be given about whether the person was in home isolation and whether the person was brought to hospital at the right time or not. Every death has to be reported in a timely manner to the Union Health Ministry. All hospitals have been given strict directions that there should be no delays in handing over the dead bodies to their next of kin and performing last rites of COVID-19 deceased patients,’’ said a senior health official.
“The sudden surge of cases in the capital prompted the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to supply, free of cost, 50,000 approved antigen-based rapid test kits to the Delhi government for supporting COVID-19 containment efforts,” said the official.
ICMR said it has supplied diagnostic material for carrying out 4.7 lakh RT-PCR (Rapid Antibody and Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests to the 12 functional labs in Delhi till date and has also provided 1.57 lakh RNA extraction kits essential for carrying out the test and 2.84 lakh VTMs (Viral Transport Medium) and swabs for collection of COVID-19 samples.
The Ministry added that NCDC has also supported the efforts of Delhi government through technical guidance on all aspects of COVID-19 surveillance and response strategy and also provided laboratory diagnostic support for processing of samples by RT-PCR, including trainings of lab professionals of Delhi government.
“Technical support by NCDC included deployment of multiple central teams of experts for situational analysis and subsequent recommendations accordingly; deployment of public health experts to coordinate and provide technical inputs to district level teams in implementation of revised Delhi COVID response plan and planning and execution of sero-prevalence study on COVID 19 in Delhi,” added the Health Ministry.
Meanwhile, in order to help the Delhi government in its COVID-management, a 10,000-bedded “Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre” is being developed at Radha Soami Satsang Beas in Chhatarpur, Delhi.
The entire operation of this facility, including ensuring availability of requisite numbers of medical personnel, has been entrusted to the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), with Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) taking the lead in the process. Around 2,000 beds are being made operational, noted a release issued by the Union Health Ministry.
“A 1000-bedded new green field hospital construced by DRDO and manned by doctors and paramedical staff from Army would start functioning next week from an area near Dhaula Kuan. This new field hospital would have a referral relationship with AIIMS, New Delhi. The hospital would be equipped with oxygen, ventilators as well as an ICU,” it added.
The Central government has also centrally procured and distributed 11.11 lakh N95 masks, 6.81 lakh PPE kits, 44.80 lakhs HCQ tablets in Delhi. A total of 425 ventilators were allocated to Delhi and all have been delivered to various hospitals of the Government of the National Capital Territory.
Delhi has 34 Dedicated COVID Hospitals (DCH), 4 Dedicated COVID Health Centres (DCHC), 24 Dedicated COVID Centers (DCCC) to treat COVID-19 patients according to their severity. Currently, a total of 62 facilities in Delhi are engaged in treating COVID-19. The number of these facilities is being increased on a daily basis, the Ministry said.