Corona Sample Testing (Photo Credit: File Photo)
New Delhi :
The Delhi government on Thursday said it will conduct COVID-19 tests on people engaged in delivering essentials like food as the number of novel coronavirus cases mounted to 1,640 in the national capital after 62 fresh cases and six deaths were reported. The COVID-19 fatalities reported on Thursday are the highest in a day in the city, where a total of 38 people have died due to the disease, according to officials.
The government has decided to conduct COVID-19 tests on those engaged in delivery of food and milk as soon as the rapid anti-bodies test kits are received by it, the officials said in the wake of a pizza delivery agent testing positive for the coronavirus in south Delhi. The 19-year-old delivery agent had tested positive for the coronavirus infection on April 14. A total of 89 families whom he delivered pizza to have been put under home quarantine.
South Delhi District Magistrate B N Mishra said, "In view of the incident, we are considering that all those involved in home delivery of food are put through clinical screening so that those showing symptoms are stopped from visiting homes." Addressing an online briefing, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the clinical trial of plasma enrichment technique to treat severely-ill coronavirus patients will begin in the next three to four days.
Under the plasma enrichment technique, antibodies from the blood of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 are used to treat severely infected patients. It is aimed at assessing the efficacy of convalescent plasma to limit complications in COVID-patients The chief minister said the Delhi government had on Tuesday received permission from the Centre to conduct the trial of plasma technique.
He said the condition of several COVID-19 patients, who were admitted to hospitals in the last week of March and first week of April, is improving and many of them will be discharged soon. He said, "If the trial of plasma technique is successful, we will be able to save the lives of serious COVID-19 patients." Highlighting that some other states such as Kerala and Maharashtra too were working on it, Kejriwal said, "Our efforts will succeed".
He said sanitisation drives had begun in the city's containment zones, which has risen to 60, and every individual living in these areas need not be tested for COVID-19. The government's 'Operation SHIELD' has been successful in Dilshad Garden as there has been no new case of COVID-19 case in the last 15 days, he said. "Due to 'Operation SHIELD', there has also been no new case in Vasundra Enclave in the last 15 days.
Also, there is no case of coronavirus in Kichripur," he said. "With collective efforts, we will be able to contain the coronavirus in Delhi," Kejriwal said. Meanwhile, to remove any doubt over the movement of those in home quarantine, the Delhi government will soon start asking them to send their selfies through a mobile application.
A government official told PTI that all district magistrates (DMs) have been directed to ask the people in home quarantine to download the designated app in their mobile phones, a step aimed at tracking their movement. According to the official, it was observed that some people, who have been put under home quarantine by the government, were not following the rules. "This app will be very helpful in tracking the movement of home-quarantined people.
"If the district administration has a doubt about the movement of a home-quarantined person, he or she will be asked to take a selfie at home and send it to the control room through the app," the official said. Kejriwal also said 15 lakh people in the national capital have applied for ration cards and the Delhi government has been providing food to 10 lakh people everyday during the lockdown.
In a statement, the government it has already distributed almost 100 percent of the entitled allocation for April among public distribution system beneficiaries to help them meet their requirements during the lockdown, an official statement said on Thursday.
In Delhi, the Public Distribution System (PDS) caters to 17.50 lakh households covering 71 lakh beneficiaries, including 68,609 Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households with 2.79 lakh beneficiaries. The usual monthly quota of food grains under the National Food Security Act, 2013 is 5 kilograms, including 4 kilograms of wheat and 1 kilogram of rice.