High caseload in 6 districts, a matter of concern. Time to implement ‘Jan Andolan’
In an interaction with Sh. Anil Baijal, Lt. Governor, Delhi and Sh. Satyendra Kumar Jain, Delhi Health Minister in presence of other senior officials and dignitaries- Mayors, Municipal Commissioners and District Magistrates of Delhi, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Let’s end it by 2020”.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan applauded the efforts of the whole of government to help curb the spread of the virus. He also spoke about the key role of scientists for repurposing drugs for COVID and formation of bio-repository of such drug candidates. Dr. Vardhan urged the citizens to take precautionary measures in the forthcoming festive season and be aligned to PM Modi’s Jan Andolan . To cut the transmission of the virus people should continue wearing masks, physical distancing, hand washing and imbibe COVID appropriate behavior until vaccines were out. He also highlighted the government’s commitment to provide vaccines for 20-25 Crore citizens including frontline healthcare by mid-2021.
While comparing the COVID trajectory of Delhi with that of the country, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “The recovery rate of India is currently more than 92% while that of Delhi is 89%. Against a national case fatality rate of 1.49%, Delhi continues to have a fatality rate of 1.71%.”
He was concerned about the high case load 6 districts of Delhi like the North, Central, North East, East, North West and South East districts which have seen a surge in number of positive cases. The officials informed Dr. Harsh Vardhan that Delhi continues to have a highly skewed RAT to RT-PCR ratio - 77% of the tests are RAT based while RT-PCR comprises only 23% of the total tests. The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare imposed on mandatory testing of all RAT negative persons in case they develop ILI/SARI symptoms afterwards to avoid a situation where false negative results might give way to complacency among the COVID infected.
Dr. Sujeet Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) presented a micro-analysis of COVID deaths in the various hospitals of Delhi. Talking about the fatality rate the doctor cautioned the health authorities of Delhi to be alert in the future with the onset of winter and the upcoming winter season where the cases might increase. He also requested the medical experts of the State to form a committee for better clinical management of COVID patients.
Sh. Anil Baijal brought to light that the State has been cautioned against the chances of increase in the number of cases because of the forthcoming festive season and facilitation of inter-state transport. Hoping for the IEC campaigns to be successful in changing public behavior towards COVID, he informed that the administration was working to bring about positive changes in Standard Operating Procedures.
Sh. Satyendar Jain’s request to the Centre was to increase the number of ICU beds in AIIMS New Delhi and other Central Hospitals to cater to the health needs of all the patients and to contain the virus at the earliest and in an effective manner.
Sh. Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary requested the Delhi Administration to shift patients in need of critical care to the Defence Medical Hospital Facility in Dhaula-Kuan which has 125 ICU beds.
Sh. Vijay Kumar Dev, Chief Secretary, Delhi attended the meeting virtually from his office. Smt. Arti Ahuja, Addl. Secretary (Health) and other senior officials of the Ministry were also present in the meeting.