New Delhi, Mar 8 (PTI) A total of 87.8 lakh COVID-19 tests, including 31.3 lakh RT-PCR ones, were conducted till December 31 last year as part of the Delhi government's strategy of aggressive testing to combat the pandemic, according to its Outcome Budget presented on Monday.
The national capital has reported over 6.41 lakh cases of the coronavirus so far.
The Delhi government's 'Outcome Budget' for 2020-21 was presented by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday, showing the education, health, public works and environment departments as top performers.
'As on 31st December 2020, which is the reference period for this status report, a total of 87.8 lakh COVID-19 tests were conducted which included 31.3 lakh RT-PCR tests. At its peak, over 90,000 tests were conducted per day, which is not just the highest tests per capita for any city or state in India, but also globally,' as per the city government's performance report.
In the report, the deputy chief minister was quoted as saying that the government believed that the 'only way to stop the spread of this virus is to test aggressively' and isolate those found infected in a timely manner, before they can spread the virus to others.
'Just as a comparison, when Delhi was testing at the rate of 4,400 tests per million population daily, Kerala which was second highest in tests in India, was testing at the rate of 2,300 tests per million daily whereas the all India average was 1,300 tests per million daily,' the report said.
For aggressive testing, the Delhi government set up 330 testing labs and centres at its hospitals, dispensaries and Aam Aadmi mohalla clinics. Out of 87.8 lakh tests, 6.25 lakh patients were found positive which translates into 7.12 per cent positivity rate, for that period, as per the Outcome Budget.
Also, up to December 2020, 6,09,322 patients had recovered from COVID-19 whereas 10,536 patients lost their lives. The fatality rate of Delhi in this period stood at 1.68 per cent, it said.
Responding to the surge in cases during this period, the Delhi government had innovated and created the 'world's first home isolation programme', the report claimed.
The Delhi government also ensured timely augmentation of hospital infrastructure by rapidly increasing COVID-19 designated beds in response to rising number of cases and to reduce mortality, as per the report.
'Including government and private facilities, the Delhi government ensured that 135 dedicated COVID hospitals, 15 quarantine, dedicated COVID Care Centres and six COVID Health Centres, with a strength of 18,718 beds, 8,273 beds and 882 beds respectively, were made available to the people of Delhi,' it said.
'In all, 1,79,241 patients needed hospitalisation and were admitted in these quarantine COVID Care Centres, health centres and hospitals. It is a testimony to our sound planning that at all times, despite three waves, total number of COVID beds were more than twice the number of cases,' the report said.
Also, 496 Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics (AAMC) have been established up to December 2020, against the target of 750 clinics. On an average, each AAMC handles 97 patient visits per day, it said.
According the Delhi economic survey, on the healthcare sector front, the government also said that the sanctioned bed capacity in medical institutions in Delhi is 54,321.
About 14,000 new beds are planned to be added by way of completion of ongoing, new projects and remodelling or expansion of existing hospitals.
Also, per capita expenditure on health in Delhi has increased from Rs 1,996 in 2014-15 to Rs 3,029 in 2019-20. PTI KND ANB ANB ANB