Govt orders officials to implement new containment zone strategy

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev on Monday directed officials to implement all directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs, including re-mapping of containment zones and aggressive contact-tracing, to effectively fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the national capital. Sources said that in his directions to Principal Secretary (Health) Vikram Dev Dutt and Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Khirwar, the chief secretary also asked them to ensure enhanced testing and patient-friendly medical care.

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is likely to be roped in as an expert agency for re-mapping of containment zones in the national capital, sources said.

"The chief secretary has issued directions to the principal secretary (Health) and the divisional commissioner to scrupulously implement all the directions of the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) to aggressively fight COVID-19, including enhanced surveillance, re-mapping of containment zones, enhanced testing, aggressive tracking and patient-friendly medical care," a source said on Monday.

These directions come a day after a high-level committee set up by Union Home Minister Amit Shah recommended quarantine of contacts of all COVID-19 positive cases in Delhi and re-mapping of all containment zones to check the rapid spread of the coronavirus infection in the national capital. Listing and monitoring of surrounding houses outside of a containment zone was also suggested in the meeting, which is likely to help collect overall information of an affected area.

The directions recommended by the special committee also asked the Capital to prepare resources for a Serological Survey to be conducted between June 27 and July 10, in which randomised samples of 20,000 people will be collected for testing to determine whether community spread is underway in the Capital.

The committee had recommended that containment zones be drawn afresh and strict vigil and control be maintained on their borders and activities inside them, the home ministry had said in a statement. It had also suggested that contact-tracing be done for all infected people and once identified, such contacts should be quarantined.

The Aarogya Setu and Itihaas apps should be jointly used to accomplish this task, it had said. The Union home minister had advised the Delhi government to implement the containment strategy recommended by the V K Paul Committee. Shah had asked Delhi government authorities to take technical help for drawing the new or amended limits for containment zones in Delhi.

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