NCR areas should follow Delhi: PM Modi
Delhi recorded 1,781 fresh Covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking the tally in the city to 110,921, while the death toll from the disease climbed to 3,334.Updated: Jul 12, 2020 00:30 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday appreciated the efforts of the Centre and Delhi government in containing the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in the national capital and directed that a similar approach against the pandemic be adopted in the entire National Capital Region, remarks that came at a meeting to review the public health crisis.
Delhi recorded 1,781 fresh Covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking the tally in the city to 110,921, while the death toll from the disease climbed to 3,334. On June 23, the national capital reported the highest single-day spike so far of 3,947 cases, but the daily cases have since reduced amid increased testing.
“Priority is close monitoring and guiding the containment works in regions where the infection rate is high,” the Prime Minister tweeted after the meeting to take stock of the Covid-19 situation in various parts of the country and the preparedness of state governments.
He said there was no room for complacency in the battle against Covid-19, with the review meeting focusing on ramping up testing and keeping the death rate low. The meeting was attended by Union home minister Amit Shah, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan and other senior officials.
Shah has held a series of meetings with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, lieutenant governor Anil Baijal and senior officials over the strategy to augment Delhi’s health care infrastructure amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Kejriwal said recently the situation in Capital appeared to have come under control amid joint efforts by the Centre and the Delhi government. Among the efforts launched in Delhi recently were widened testing, a serological survey to gauge the prevalence of the disease and a more refined strategy on containment zones.
People aware of the developments said Modi asked for better coordination between the Centre and other states of the National Capital Region during the meeting. This comes weeks after the Union home minister emphasised the need to have a unified strategy in Delhi-NCR to tackle Covid-19, adding that suburbs such as Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad can’t be separated from the Capital in the public health emergency.
According to an official, who did not wish to be named, discussions were held on the situation of different states and Union territories including Delhi, supported by data on the Covid-19 outbreak. “The Prime Minister appreciated the concerted efforts of the Centre, State and local authorities in containing the pandemic situation in Delhi. He further directed that similar approach should be adopted with other State Governments in containing the Covid-19 pandemic in entire NCR area,” an official statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The Prime Minister said that real-time national monitoring and guidance should be provided to all affected states and places with high test positivity rates.
He said that the need to observe personal hygiene and social discipline in public places must be reiterated. “The awareness about Covid should be disseminated widely and a continuous emphasis on preventing spread of the infection should be laid. He (the PM) said that there is no room for any complacency in this regard,” the statement said.
The official quoted above said that testing will be intensified for vegetable vendors and grocery sellers as they have a high rate of mobility and interaction with people.
The PM’s directions came after NITI Aayog member VK Paul made a presentation on the Covid-19 situation in the country, according to the official. The discussions focused on ramping up tests, with those present stressing that intensified diagnoses can bring down the positivity rates in several places and contain the pandemic, the official added. The meeting discussed how Delhi increased its daily tests to about 22,000 and the positivity rate in the Capital reduced to 10%.
Paul’s presentation also spoke of the urgent need to curb the number of deaths, especially in states where case fatality rates have shot up in the recent weeks.
The Prime Minister, according to a second official, agreed on the issues raised by Paul. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was a detailed discussion on ways to suppress the transmission of Covid-19. Paul’s presentation suggested that the best way to suppress transmission was to ensure that in at least 80% of the new cases, the patients’ close contacts are traced within 72 hours and kept in quarantine. The Prime Minister also spoke about the need to ensure quality care and that there must be a standard that is followed across the country, the official added.
Other suggestions by Paul included revamping India’s ambulance system and monitoring their response time to address the needs of patients, the official said.
The “successful example” of surveillance and home-based care through ‘Dhanvantri Rath’ in Ahmedabad was also highlighted, and it was directed that it could be emulated in other places, the statement said.
“Also discussed ways to further step-up our capacities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We also highlighted successful initiatives being undertaken across India to ensure the Coronavirus is kept under check,” Modi said in a tweet.