Panel set up by Amit Shah suggests re-mapping containment zones in Delhi, stricter contact tracing as COVID-19 cases near 60,000

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia held a virtual meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah during which a report by VK Paul committee on the issue was presented, according to the Union Home Ministry.

Press Trust of India June 22, 2020 00:08:40 IST
Panel set up by Amit Shah suggests re-mapping containment zones in Delhi, stricter contact tracing as COVID-19 cases near 60,000

New Delhi: The coronavirus cases in Delhi neared the 60,000-mark on Sunday with 3,000 more people testing positive, even as worried authorities were mulling steps to strengthen the containment strategy to arrest the spread of the infection in the National Capital.

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia held a virtual meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah during which a report by VK Paul committee on the issue was presented, according to the Union Home Ministry.

Mapping of all containment zones in Delhi again for better management of the COVID-19 situation and vigorous contact tracing of positive cases for quarantining are among the measures related to the containment strategy suggested by the high-level committee set up Shah.

Panel set up by Amit Shah suggests remapping containment zones in Delhi stricter contact tracing as COVID19 cases near 60000

Home minister Amit Shah held a virtual meeting with Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia. ANI

It had also favoured strictly restricting activities in containment zones as well keeping a vigil on houses outside these areas. The home minister has advised the Delhi government to implement the recommendations of the committee, officials said.

The issue is also expected to come up at the crucial meet of Delhi Disaster Management Authority to be held on Monday, amid a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in the National Capital.

It was the third day on the trot that over 3,000 fresh cases have been reported. On Saturday, Delhi had witnessed 3,630 cases, the highest single-day spike here. On Friday, the number was 3,137.

As many as 63 fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours. The death toll from the coronavirus now stands at 2,175 and the total number of cases at 59,746, according to the latest Delhi health department bulletin

The condition of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has improved and his fever has subsided, a day after he was administered plasma therapy at a private COVID-19 facility here.

Also, a team of senior doctors from a few government and private hospitals has been kept on standby to ensure the best medical care for Jain who is admitted in ICU of Max hospital, Saket, sources said. The condition of the 55-year-old minister is improving and he is being monitored by doctors, officials said.

"His fever has subsided and his oxygen saturation level (Spo2) has increased. He is likely to come out of the ICU by Monday," an official said.

On the meeting held by Shah, an official said that "a detailed discussion was held to make contact tracing robust in the city. All participants discussed the strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Delhi".

On Saturday, Lt Governor Anil Baijal amended his order on home isolation, saying "only those COVID positive cases which do not require hospitalisation on clinical assessment and do not have adequate facilities for home isolation would be required to undergo institutional isolation."

A Delhi government official said that the administration will have uphill task to get the clinical assessment of all new COVID-19 cases done every day.

"As Delhi is witnessing an alarming spike in cases daily, it will be a difficult task to get such a huge number of cases done. After the assessment, the decision will be taken on whether the infected person requires hospitalisation or he can get treatment in home isolation," the official said.

This issue is also likely to come up during a meeting of DDMA on Monday where officers concerned will make presentation to execute the LG's order.

Meanwhile, a 62-year-old inmate lodged in Mandoli Jail in Delhi has died of coronavirus, a first COVID-19 casualty in Delhi's prison, prompting authorities to test 28 other inmates who were sharing the barrack with the man, officials said on Sunday. Kanwar Singh passed away on June 15 and his COVID-19 test report came out positive on Saturday, they said. Singh was serving life sentence in a 2016 murder case. He was lodged in Central Jail number -14, Mandoli and was asymptomatic, the officials said.

Delhi Prison comprises Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli Jail. Till now, 23 inmates of Delhi Prison have been found positive for COVID-19, out of them 16 recovered from the disease and one has died.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has sought more time to convert five-star Taj Mansingh hotel into a coronavirus facility in order to augment beds for patients amid a spike in infections.

According to an order issued by the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Chanakyapuri on 16 June, rooms in the luxury Taj Mansingh Hotel in Lutyens' Delhi were placed at the disposal of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) for using them as an attached COVID-19 facility.

According to sources at the hospital, a letter has been written to the SDM seeking more time to develop the hospital into a Covid facility. As the COVID-19 cases continue to rise, resident welfare associations in the city have started coming up with their own isolation facilities for infected patients.

An eight-bed isolation centre set up by the residents of Antariksh Apartment in sector 14 of Rohini was inaugurated on Sunday.

"The isolation centre has been set up using four rooms of a guest house of Antariksh Apartment. Each room has two beds and there are also facilities of oxygen support, medicines and medical care for corona patients," local municipal councillor Alok Sharma said.

Work on an isolation centre for the residents of the apartment complex began as asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and those with mild symptoms are being placed in home-isolation, he said.

The National Capital on Sunday celebrated the International Day of Yoga under the shadow of COVID-19, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal practising ''asanas'' at his residence, while several other Delhi leaders performed yoga in small groups.

The celebrations were muted this year in the city due to the coronavirus scare as compared to previous years when people in large numbers gathered at prominent places including India Gate lawns to participate in mass yoga sessions.

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