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Coronavirus Pandemic: Amid COVID-19 surge, Delhi to increase testing capacity to 80K per day

News Agencies | Updated on: 31 March 2021, 12:28 IST
Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain

Amid the recent spike in coronavirus cases, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday informed that COVID-19 testing will be increased to 80,000 per day in the national capital, adding that the Delhi government has ordered an increase of 220 ICU beds and 838 normal beds in the wards of 33 private hospitals.

Delhi has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 infections in the past few days, reporting 992 new infections on Tuesday.

"Delhi recorded 992 positive cases yesterday. The positivity rate was 2.7. The testing has been increased. The testing rate had dropped for the last two days, from today onwards 80,000 tests will be done...30 contacts each of every COVID-19 positive patients are being traced," Jain said.

"An ample number of beds is available in government hospitals. The overall occupancy in private and government hospitals in Delhi is 25 per cent. A shortage of ICU beds has been reported at three to four private hospitals, so we have ordered an increase in ICU beds," he added.

Talking about the next phase of vaccination starting Thursday where all above 45 years of age are eligible, the health minister said: "There are 65 lakh people above 45 years of age, including 20 lakh people above the age of 60 years in Delhi. The eligible recipients will be 65 lakhs. The vaccination drive will be on a large scale from tomorrow. There are 500 centres running in Delhi. The time to receive vaccines is from 9 am to 9 pm."

"People were facing difficulty in registration for vaccination and some don't reach the centres on time. So, the government has decided to keep a 3 pm-9 pm window when people can go for vaccination without registration," he added.

Jain had last week said that a second COVID lockdown in the national capital is "not a solution". "As of now, there is no possibility of another lockdown. We had tried it earlier with not much success. Experts had said that due to its 14-day cycle (of the infection), a 21-day lockdown would stop the spread of the virus but that did not happen. So for me, lockdown is no solution," Jain had said on Saturday.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has already capped the gatherings at open wedding venues at 200 and at 100 in case of closed spaces; only 50 persons will be allowed at funerals till April 30.


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First published: 31 March 2021, 12:25 IST