In a major development, the Delhi government has revised its COVID-19 testing strategy on Wednesday, informed Director-General of heath in the national capital. The new guideline states that all symptomatic individuals with a history of international travel in the last 14 days, those who are contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases, healthcare workers, or frontline workers in containment areas will be tested. It adds that all symptomatic patients with Severe acute respiratory infection will be tested. However, even as the transport facilities have opened up in the fifth phase of lockdown, the new guideline says that migrants or returnees from other places will only be tested if they are symptomatic, within 7 days of illness. The focus in the current guideline has been given to symptomatic cases amid reports about shortage of beds in Delhi hospitals.
Meanwhile, a day earlier Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched 'Delhi Corona' app which will have information regarding the availably of beds in hospitals across the national capital.
On Tuesday, in a record single-day spike, Delhi reported 1,298 fresh cases taking total tally to over 22,000 and the death toll due to the disease mounted to 556. The previous highest spike in fresh cases -- 1,295 -- was recorded on May 31. In a bulletin issued on Tuesday, the Delhi health department said the death toll due to coronavirus has risen to 556 in the national capital and the total number of cases has mounted to 22,132. It, however, added that the cumulative death figure only refers to fatalities where the primary cause of death was found to be COVID-19, according to a report of the Death Audit Committee on the basis of the case-sheets received from various hospitals.
Earlier on Sunday, the Delhi government issued a new standard operating procedure (SOP) for handling the bodies of Covid-19 patients. It stated that no coronavirus test will be conducted if patient after death. The new guidelines mentioned three requirements to identify an individual as a Covid-19 fatality — the person tested positive for Covid-19 before death, the positive test was based on a sample taken when he/she was alive and the person was admitted to hospital with severe symptoms of Covid-19 or doctors categorised him/her as a Covid-19 suspect. However, it mentioned: “no sample for COVID-19 test will be taken of dead body”.
On April 7, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal informed the formation of a 5-point strategy to control the spread of COVID-19 infection in Delhi. The five T’s were testing, tracing, treatment, teamwork, tracking. The CM had said that first 'T' i.e 'testing', in it Delhi will conduct tests on the lines of South Korea. The second 'T' i.e tracing, primary contacts of COVID patients were traced. The third was treatment in which a list of hospitals was given. For 'teamwork', CM had said that opposition and ruling parties across the country must work as a team to fight the virus. For the last 'T' i.e. 'tracking', he said police health workers would undertake a massive tracking to contain the virus.