Buses, Metros to be disinfected daily, sample collection centres raised to 25: Delhi govt on coronavirus

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CM Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain address the media on Sunday. (Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

With three confirmed positive cases of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the national capital, the Delhi government Sunday announced a host of precautionary measures, including expansion of testing facilities in the city. Currently, samples of suspected coronavirus cases are only tested at Safdarjung and Ram Manohar Lohia hospitals.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also said that he would meet Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday and that he would request a ban on travel to and from countries which have recorded a high number of coronavirus cases.

On Sunday, Kejriwal announced that the number of sample collection centres in the capital had been expanded to 25, of which 19 are government hospitals and six are private ones.

“We are also creating separate testing and treatment facilities in these hospitals so that if anyone who is infected visits them, they will not come in contact with other patients,” said Kejriwal.

A government official said that this process would take another two-three days.

The government also announced that it has passed an order to disinfect all Delhi Transport Corporation and cluster buses, metro train coaches and stations, as well as hospitals in the city everyday.

On Friday, a third case in Delhi was confirmed positive for coronavirus from Uttam Nagar.

So far, the government has traced 105 people who came in contact with the first positive case, 168 people who came in contact with the second case and 64 who came in contact with the third.

“All those who came in contact with the three patients are being quarantined and we are collecting and testing their samples to check if they have been infected,” said Kejriwal.

The three coronavirus patients in the capital have a recent history of foreign travel.

The government has also deployed 40 doctors at the Indira Gandhi International Airport and those arriving from abroad are being made to undergo thermal screening to check for the virus.

Officials said that 1,40,603 passengers have been placed under surveillance.

Among these, people residing in Delhi are being placed under surveillance for a period of 14 days and their health status is being monitored.

“The contact details of all those who are arriving are being collected at the airport and these are being forward to the state. We are calling them once in the morning and once in the evening everyday to ask if they are displaying any symptoms,” said Dr Nutan Mundeja, Director General of Health Services.