Delhi government sets up task force under CM Arvind Kejriwal to tackle coronavirus outbreak
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal formed a task force on March 4, 2020 to monitor and tackle the novel coronavirus threat in the National Capital. While addressing a press conference in the city, he said that the state-level task force will be headed by him.
The Chief Minister assured that efforts are being made to trace and screen all those people who came in contact with the confirmed Delhi case and the 16 Italian tourists. He also urged the public not to panic.
The task force comprises representatives from all the concerned agencies, corporations and departments including the Delhi Police and municipal corporations. Each member has been given a particular role.
Delhi sets up task force
The AAP-led Delhi government has formed a task force to deal with the coronavirus outbreak in the capital. The task force mainly aims to focus on taking preventive measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the city.
The Chief Minister, who heads the task force, called its first meeting just a mere few hours after it was constituted. After the meeting, Kejriwal stated that the situation needs to be contained. He said during the task force meeting, he asked every agency to treat this virus situation as a health emergency as COVID-19 is known to spread extremely quickly if it is not contained in the beginning.
Other Key Measures
• All three municipal corporations of Delhi are conducting checks in all the hotels and guest houses in the city to screen tourists who came from the affected countries for any signs of COVID-19 virus.
• The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has formed two rapid response teams to screen residents who visited coronavirus-affected countries after January 15. The council has already screened 56 houses.
• The civic body has also asked for reports from all the hotels and guest houses in the area regarding guests coming from the affected countries or any person showing symptoms of fever or flu.
• The Delhi government has made Ram Manohar Lohia and Safdarjung hospitals the nodal hospitals for the government’s programme against the virus
• The state is also setting up isolation wards in 25 Delhi hospitals– including 19 government and 6 private hospitals in case of need.
• Currently, there are two laboratories to test for coronavirus in Delhi- one in AIIMS and another in the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Around 250 samples are tested each day in each of the two labs.
• The state plans to set up a third lab at Lady Hardinge Hospital and another one will be set up at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital if required.
• The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) stated that it will increase the frequency of cleaning in its premises given the coronavirus outbreak.
• The Delhi Metro has issued a set of important do’s and dont’s in both English and Hindi language for the people to encourage them to take precautions against the virus.
What is the current situation of the infected Delhi patient?
The infected Delhi patient is currently being treated at Safdarjung hospital. He is a resident of Mayur Vihar Phase II. The Delhi Government has identified 88 people who came in contact with him after he arrived in Delhi through Vienna, after touring Budapest and Italy.
Further, all passengers arriving at the Delhi airport are being screened with thermal scanners. Anyone showing even the slight symptoms will be taken to Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital. The state is also tracking down those who did not show any symptoms during the screening at the airport, as it is being seen that the signs of the virus start showing after 14 days or maybe even more.
The centre announced on March 4, 2020 that 28 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in India. Later, a Paytm employee in the gurugram office also tested positive for the virus, taking the total number of cases to 29. All the infected patients have been put in isolation in different hospitals. The government also announced that from now on, passengers of all international flights will be screened at Indian airports and put in isolation if they show any symptoms.
All schools in Delhi have been asked to conduct intensive awareness drives on the Do’s and Don’ts to stop the spread of the virus. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also allowed the students appearing for Class 10th and 12th board examinations to carry face masks and hand sanitizers inside the examination centre.