After PM’s nudge, MHA and Delhi govt go into war mode on Covid-19

Union Home Minister Amit Shah says coronavirus testing will be held at every polling booth and a house-to-house health survey will be done in Delhi hotspots.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suggestion, there was a flurry of activities in the Home Ministry, which held a high-level meeting in Delhi on Sunday to fight Covid-19.

After the meeting, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Modi government is committed to control the spread of Covid-19 in the national capital and has taken several significant decisions, including the one to start coronavirus tests at every polling station in Delhi’s containment zones. He also informed that a comprehensive house-to-house health survey will be done in the hotspots for contact tracing to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“To be able to do contact mapping well in Delhi’s containment zones, a comprehensive health survey of every person will be done from house to house. The report will come in 1 week,” the home minister said.

The high-level meeting was attended by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt General Anil Baijal, along with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, DDMA and other senior officials.

After the end of the meeting, Shah tweeted, “The Government of India has fully convinced the Delhi government to meet the necessary resources like oxy- gen cylinders, ventilators, pulse oximeters and all other require- ments to fight this epidemic.”

After the Supreme Court pulled up the AAP government for lack of testing, the Union Home Minister cleared that testing will be increased in Delhi. He also announced that in the next two days, testing will be doubled which will be further tripled after six days. In addition, testing will be started in each polling station of containment zones. To combat the problem of lack of beds, the Modi government has decided to immediately give 500 railway coaches to Delhi. These railway coaches will not only increase 8,000 beds in Delhi but they will be also equipped with all facilities to fight the corona infection. In addition, the Centre has also decided to allot five senior officers to the Delhi government to keep an eye on all these decisions and fight corona strongly.

Recently a few videos showing the pathetic plight of hospitals surfaced on social media. To deal with this a joint team of doctors from the health department of

Government of India, Health Department of AIIMS and the three municipal corporations of Delhi will visit all the corona hospitals in Delhi and inspect the health systems and preparedness and will make a report on their arrangements.

It was seen recently that many private hospitals blatantly refused to treat Covid patients and demanded heavy fees from them.

Also, many complained about the lack of cremation facilities in Delhi. To stop this “loot” of some of the private hospitals, a committee will submit its report today. The Union government has also decided to constitute a committee of senior doctors for telephonic guidance at AIIMS to communicate best systems to the bottom. Its helpline number will be released today. Shah said, “India is fighting strongly against corona and the government is sad and sensitive towards the families who have lost their lives due to this infection. The government has decided to issue new guidelines for funeral and last rites so that the waiting period can be reduced.”

The Union government has also provided scout guides of NCC, NSS and other NGOs to volunteer. In order to be able to get contact mapping done well in Delhi’s containment zone, a comprehensive health survey of every person will be done from house to house, whose report will come within one week. Also, for better monitoring, every person will have to get the Aarogya Setu app downloaded.

The Union Home Ministry also asked the AAP government and Delhi MCDs to resolve differences and work together. The medical superintendent of Bada Hindu Rao Hospital has been instructed to make all the beds of the hospital ready for corona patients by 16 June. This hospital is the first Delhi municipal hospital to be declared a corona hospital with 1,000 beds.

The situation in Delhi is worse than most other states as the number of corona patients has increased to 39,000 and the challenge now lies to prepare for the probable 5.5 lakh patients within next 50 days. The AAP government has informed the commit- tee about its preparations and made clear that Delhi will need 80,000 beds by the end of July. It also said that the number of Covid patients in the state might cross the 1.5 lakh in the coming month. If people of other states start coming to Delhi, the total tally might cross the 5.5 lakh mark.

Meanwhile, Amit Shah has also called for an all-party meeting today. This meeting will be attended by presidents of Bhartiya Janata Party, Aam Aadmi Party, Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party.