Delhi govt revises COVID response plan: House-to-house screening by Jul 6, rigorous monitoring

New Delhi, Jun 24 (PTI) Completing house-to-house screening for coronavirus by July 6, admitting positive patients in highly dense area to care centres and CCTV or drone monitoring to prohibit movement inside containment zones are among the eight-point revised COVID-19 response plan issued by the Delhi government.

The plans also state that highly suspected cases testing negative on Rapid Antigen Test should be examined again using the gold standard RT-PCR test.

A high-level committee set up by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday recommended quarantine of contacts of all COVID-19 positive cases in Delhi and re-mapping of all containment zones to check the rapid spread of the coronavirus infection in the national capital.

According to the revised plan, COVID-19 positive patient or cluster cases in the highly dense areas will be sent to the Covid Care Centres as per the Health Ministry's guidelines.

According to the revised response plan, the review and redesigning of containment zones will be done by June 26.

A house-to-house screening will be completed by June 30 in containment zones and for the rest of Delhi by July 6, in a mammoth exercise, as per the revised plan.

The plan document states that cases reported from containment zone represent only 19 per cent of the infections, which implies the successful implementation of containment strategies in Delhi. 'Epidemiological analysis of new cases shows that majority of cases are presenting as isolated sporadic cases and become cluster of cases. Forty-five per cent of the cases are showing features of clustering,' is says.

Active case search in containment zones and vigorous contact tracing of COVID positive patients will be undertaken to analyse the reasons for clustering, the plan said.

The containment zones will be redefined in line with the guidelines of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and active case search will be done in containment zones.

'Testing of suspects will be augmented by universal application of Rapid Antigen Test. An Incident Command System/District level COVID Control Room lead by DM of the concerned district and technically assisted by Senior Public Health Specialist deputed from either MCD (DHO) Medical Colleges faculty with IT Support and manpower will be established at each DM office,' the plan said.

Rapid antigen test which is currently being utilised for screening of population in the containment zones as per ICMR guidelines shall be strictly followed, it said.

According to the recommendations of the MHA committee, the assessment of the existing containment zoning plan and developing a revised zoning plan with adequate buffer zones as per Health Ministry's guidelines will be completed by June 26.

“A geographical area once declared as containment zones shall follow the strict containment (perimeter control) with active case search inside the containment zones and there shall be a sufficient surrounding buffer zone,' it said.

Teams will be deployed for daily case search, testing and isolation. According to the plan, police shall be deployed to enforce physical distancing measures and prevention of intermixing of the population inside the containment zones. The policemen will have to ensure strict perimeter control and 'absolute restriction of outward and inward movement of the population'.

The administration will have to supply essential commodities inside the containment zones and there shall be strict CCTV/drone monitoring to prohibit movement inside, the plan said.

'Imposing fine on those breaching the rules as is being done currently shall be further augmented,' it said.

Currently, there are 266 containment zones in the national capital.

From Friday-Sunday, 3,000 or more fresh cases were being reported per day in the national capital.

On Monday, 2,909 cases were recorded. On Tuesday, Delhi reported the highest single-day spike of cases of 3,947 while on Wednesday, 3,788 fresh cases were reported taking the tally over the 70,000 mark. PTI SLB TIR TIR