New Delhi [India], November 2 (ANI): A surge in active cases of Covid-19 in Delhi recently has been due to the festive season, greater movement of people and laxity in adhering to safe Covid behaviour, the Centre said today adding that efforts will be made to increase testing in sensitive and critical zones such as restaurants, market places, salons etc.

Strategies for containment of the spread of pathogen in Delhi should be strictly enforced and implemented, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said on Monday while reviewing the Covid-19 situation in the metropolis.

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The meeting was attended by Dr VK Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Director General, ICMR, Chief Secretary and other senior officers Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi.

Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) made a presentation on the present situation of COVID-19, which is witnessing third surge in cases.

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"While the new COVID cases and total active cases are going up, the administration is focusing on testing, contact tracing and treatment. The recent surge in the number of active cases was attributed to the festival season, which has witnessed greater movement of people, accompanied by laxity in adhering to the basic principles of safe COVID behaviour," Ministry of Home Affairs said.

According to the ministry, the hospital bed situation was reported to be comfortable with 57 per cent of the 15,789, dedicated beds being vacant. It was, however, highlighted both by GNCTD officials and Commissioner of Police, Delhi that there has been no let up in enforcement and awareness generation.

The strategy to contain spread of COVID-19 in Delhi, especially keeping in view the festival season and decreasing temperatures accompanied by rising pollution was discussed at length with representatives of MoHFW and the health experts who were present in the meeting.

It was decided to concentrate efforts in certain key areas, such as targeted RT-PCR testing in sensitive and critical zones such as restaurants, market places, barber shops/salons, gear up the availability of medical resources including beds, ICUs, and ventilators as a pre-emptive measure; ensure high degree of contact tracing and monitoring of quarantined contacts, so as to suppress and break the chain of transmission.

It was also decided to enhance enforcement selectively, accompanied by greater awareness creation through targeted IEC (Information, Education and Communication) campaigns; and ensuring that all cases under home isolation were monitored and shifted to hospitals well in time, before any deterioration in their medical condition.

"It was also emphasized that the Metro travel should be carefully regulated, strictly in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that has been issued in this regard," it said.

Concluding the meeting, Home Secretary, while appreciating the efforts of GNCTD officials, emphasised that the strategies for containment of the spread of COVID-19 in Delhi should be strictly enforced and implemented.

He stressed the need for reaching out to the residents of Delhi to sensitise them about safe Covid behaviour through RWAs, Mohalla and Market Committees, public announcement systems, message on police vehicles.

He also informed that the situation in Delhi would be reviewed again in the coming week, along with other districts of the National Capital Region (NCR).

Delhi recorded 5,664 new Corona cases in the last 24 hours. This was the fifth consecutive day that Delhi recorded over 5,000 cases, after a week of recording 3,000-4,000 cases in a day. (ANI)

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