Centre to draw plan for states to follow Delhi’s Covid-19 model
The Central government will on Monday hold a meeting to chalk out a plan for other states to replicate the ‘Delhi model’ of Covid-19 management, senior government officials said on Saturday.
The meeting will be chaired by Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla. A senior official in the Delhi government, who did not wish to be named, said, “The high-level meeting has been called to decide the steps that can be taken to replicate Delhi’s success model in other states that are seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases. Apart from this, the Covid-19 strategy for the coming days in Delhi will also be discussed.”
According to the agenda, Delhi chief secretary Vijay Dev will present the key components of Delhi’s Covid-19 management strategy before the top Central government officials. The meeting will also have Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan and NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul in attendance along with other officers.
Maharashtra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu were responsible for nearly two of every three new infections reported till early July, but the current spurt in Covid-19 cases are being reported from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
In an interview with HT on July 18, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the ‘Delhi model’ was all about testing, home isolation, transparent data, hospital beds and plasma therapy. “But to achieve these five things, we followed three principles - 1) teamwork, 2) acknowledging constructive criticism and fixing what is wrong, 3) not giving up as a government no matter how bad the situation got,” he had said.
The Delhi government in a statement on Saturday said,“CM Kejriwal has always said the essence of the Delhi Model is teamwork. At such a critical juncture, it’s very important all states work together to defeat Covid-19. If the steps taken by Delhi government that helped reduce cases can help in other states, it will be a badge of honour for the Delhi model.”
As per Saturday’s health bulletin, Delhi’s Covid-19 recovery rate crossed 87% — the best among all states in India and higher than the national average of 63.5%.
The Capital’s active cases also dipped to 12,657 on Saturday, the lowest in more than seven weeks, even as 1,142 fresh instances were recorded on Saturday. The national capital has, as on Saturday, recorded 129,531 cases of the disease.
A senior official in the state health department said the initial trends suggest Delhi is approaching herd immunity. “Delhi could be one of the first states or cities in India inching towards herd immunity. The serological survey was conducted between June 27 and July 10. Generally it takes around 10-15 days for a recovered Covid-19 patient to generate antibodies. So, the survey mostly showed the trend of Delhi from the first 10 days of June. If it was almost 24% in early June, it must have crossed 30-35% by now,” the official said.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated the efforts of the Centre and Delhi government in containing the disease outbreak in the city and directed that a similar approach against the pandemic be adopted across the National Capital Region.
To get a clearer picture, the government has now decided to conduct similar sero surveys over the first five days of every month, the first of which will be held between August 1 and 5.
Schools and colleges, bars, cinema halls, and the metro services are still closed in Delhi. In government buses, the government has rationed the number of passengers inside the bus to ensure social distancing.
In government offices, meetings are held over video conferencing, in police stations, the citizens interact with police personnel outside office building. Police in Delhi have also started questioning suspects or meeting complainants over video conferencing. In the three jails — Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli — the authorities are yet to start the bi-weekly family visits. The courts are also conducting holding hearings over video conference.