Authorities in Mumbai and Delhi have drawn up new plans to contain the outbreak of the pandemic as the number of cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) have mounted in the past few days in the metros.
The case count in the national capital has risen to 59,746 and Mumbai has reported 66,488 infections so far. The infectious disease has killed 2,175 people in Delhi so far, with 31% of the total cases in the Capital being reported over the last week. In Mumbai, the death toll has gone up to 3,671.
Union home minister Amit Shah has held several meetings with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia, lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan and senior officials to discuss the action plan and augment the city’s health care infrastructure amid the pandemic.
In Delhi, the emphasis will be on more effective containment and tracing efforts, widening the scope of detecting infections, intensifying social distancing and surveillance and inclusion of epidemiologists at the district level to augment the health care efforts.
In Mumbai, the focus has shifted to the city’s suburbs to check the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in areas such as Mulund, Bhandup, Malad, Andheri, Borivli, Kandivli and Dahisar.
Here is how officials plan to contain the outbreak:
* The Delhi government will revamp the way it decides containment zones in the Capital and sets their boundaries. The Union ministry of home affairs has said there should be 100% survey of all containment zones by June 30 and there should be an extensive survey of the entire Capital by July 6. As of Sunday night, there were 261 containment zones in Delhi.
* A decision has been taken to expand contact tracing beyond family members of an infected person and the faculty and third and fourth-year students of Delhi hospitals will be pressed into service to boost this.
* Rapid antibody tests, also referred to as serological surveillance as the diagnosis involves blood samples, will be conducted in the Capital at a wider scale from the middle of next week to find out the prevalence of the disease.
* To analyse the scale of the spread of Covid-19, serological surveys will be conducted between June 27 and July 10 and 20,000 samples will be collected.
* People not wearing masks and not following social distancing norms will be fined and this will be led by the Delhi Police commissioner.
* The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will launch a rapid action plan (RAP) in Mulund, Bhandup, Malad, Andheri, Borivli, Kandivli and Dahisar. It will rely on the four Ts of Tracing, Tracking, Testing and Treating as it did in Dharavi and Worli.
* Under RAP, the civic body to start mobile fever clinics in ambulances in these areas which will drive around through the day with a team of doctors, who will carry out door-to-door screening of residents, check for fever and other symptoms, co-morbidities, and collect swabs, if there is any suspected person.
* The teams will use a pulse oximeter in the suburbs and a thermal gun to screen patients. A team of doctors will go from door to door.
* This will be followed by quarantining suspects, tracing contacts and quarantining them at home or in institutions.
* Elected public representatives, citizens’ organisations, and non-government organisations (NGOs) will be asked to talk with residents of these areas to forge effective channels of communication.