New Delhi, Sep 2 (PTI) Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday directed officials to significantly augment the city's testing capacity by taking measures like 'testing on demand', testing at the national capital's border points and at major construction sites to check the spread of COVID-19.
Delhi has been witnessing a rise again in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last few days and authorities feel that the spread of the infection can only be contained by launching aggressive testing and contact tracing strategies in the city.
Sources said that during a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Wednesday, the lieutenant governor asked officials to work out modalities and prepare detailed standard operating procedures to introduce such testing facilities at a large scale.
In the meeting also attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, it was decided that testing, tracing and treatment strategies will be strengthened in Delhi's rural areas.
The sources said that for 'testing on demand' facility, a helpline number will soon be launched, where a person, who feels he has COVID-19 symptoms, can book testing and thereafter, can avail the facility at his doorstep.
'In first phase, senior citizens, women and children are likely to avail 'testing on demand' facility. Another option is also that people can also book testing at nearby centres by making a call at the helpline number,' a source told PTI.
'If a person prefers to undergo COVID-19 test at a nearby centre, he will be given particular time slot so that he will not have to stand in long queues,' the source said.
Baijal also directed officials concerned to set up testing facilities at Delhi's border points as well for the screening of those having COVID-19 symptoms.
'It will be mandatory for all migrant workers coming to Delhi to undergo tests. However, people, who live in NCR but work in Delhi, can also undergo test if they feel so,' the source said.
Testing centres are also being set up at major ISBTs, where migrant workers need to undergo test.
'At testing facilities at border points, everyone will not need to undergo COVID-19 test. If somebody entering Delhi feels that he has COVID-19 like symptoms, he can approach testing centres at border points. It will not be mandatory for everyone to undergo the test,' the source said.
The lieutenant governor has also directed officials to set up COVID-19 testing facilities at major construction sites, including metro project sites, for labourers.
Later, in a tweet, Baijal said, 'In view of changing scenario it is important to urgently review & strengthen the current Testing, Tracing & Treatment strategies with focus on hot spots, containment zones & rural areas.' Last month, Kejriwal had announced that his government would increase daily COVID-19 tests from 20,000 to 40,000.
On Tuesday, the national capital recorded 2,312 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike here in around two months, taking the tally to over 1.77 lakh, while the death toll mounted to 4,462, authorities said.
On July 1 and July 2, the city had recorded 2,442 and 2,373 cases, respectively. On July 3-4, the single-day spikes were over 2,500. It had dipped to 2,244 on July 5, according to official figures. PTI BUN ZMN