Delhi govt to conduct door-to-door survey to identify high-risk individuals

The Delhi government is likely to initiate by Tuesday an assessment to identify locations where a door-to-door survey may be conducted in the light of the spike in Covid-19 cases, said a senior government official on Monday, adding that the objective of the survey will be to heighten surveillance of high-risk individuals and to scale up Covid-19 testing.

The official further said the survey is planned in containment zones as well as in localities with a high Covid-19 caseload.

However, a formal order in this regard is yet to be issued by the government.

Delhi currently has 4,430 containment zones with the highest number being located in south-west district (740), followed by south district (700), government records showed.

Officials from the district health teams and municipal corporation would primarily conduct the survey, said the official who did not wish to be identified.

The person further said, “They are supposed to screen all members of the household, take note of the findings, keep a special record of high-risk individuals, which include senior citizens, pregnant women and those with co-morbidities. All symptomatic individuals and high-risk individuals would be asked to get themselves tested.”

A standard operating procedure (SOP) for the survey is likely to be drafted in another two days, said the official.

The directions regarding the survey came from Union home minister Amit Shah, who had on Sunday convened a meeting with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal in the light of the severe spike of Covid-19 cases in the capital over the past three weeks. The number of Covid-19 cases started soaring about three weeks ago, with the highest number of cases so far—8,593—being recorded on November 11. Delhi reported 3,235 new cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Diwali as per Sunday’s health bulletin.

A similar survey was conducted once between June 26 and 30 – covering all containment zones at that point, buffer areas around the containment zones and few localities with high population density. More than 350,000 people were surveyed in that exercise.

When asked about the survey, Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain said the objective would be to increase testing. “So far, we have taken all necessary steps to scale up testing. That is the reason why Delhi has the highest number of tests conducted per million population as compared to other states,” he said.

He did not elaborate on deadlines, SOPs and other details

After Sunday’s meeting with Shah, Kejriwal said that Covid-19 testing in Delhi would be scaled up to around 100,000 to 125,000 per day very soon – as against the current average 60,000 per day – adding that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has assured them that it would help Delhi in scaling up testing capacity

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