Delhi to ramp up Covid testing following Centre’s instructions
New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) Following Centre's instruction to states and union territories to enhance Covid testing, all districts in Delhi have been given targets according to the active cases there to increase the number of tests being conducted, officials said on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Health Minister said no one is being denied a Covid test in the city and the authorities are following the guidelines issued by the Centre.
"They said high-risk contacts of Covid patients and those with symptoms should be tested. On Tuesday, they clarified that tests be conducted in some pockets in the community too, which we are doing," he said.
Delhi had been conducting 50,000 to 60,000 coronavirus tests daily for the last six months, Jain added.
This could be raised further to 75,000-80,000 tests per day in view of the latest guidelines, officials said.
District officials said according to the fresh guidelines from the central government, testing will be increased through pressing more teams and deploying mobile vans at places like buffer areas outside containment zones, transit points like inter-state bus terminals and railway stations.
"The districts have been given targets of tests as per current number of active COVID cases there to boost testing," said a health department official.
On the Centre asking states and UTs to ramp up testing again, Jain said, "Maybe other states are doing fewer tests, but the number of tests in Delhi is three times than in other parts of the country. We will increase the rate even further." The Union health ministry on Monday wrote to states and UTs flagging the decline in the number of COVID-19 tests. It asked them to enhance testing so that an effective track of the spread of the pandemic can be kept and immediate citizen-centric action can be initiated.
The ministry in its earlier guidelines and advisories recommended that strategic and focused testing should be done of people who are vulnerable, living in closed surroundings and densely populated areas and in emerging new clusters and new hotspots of positive cases.