NEW DELHI: Delhi will adopt house-to-house surveillance, updated testing strategy and serosurveillance on randomly selected people as it moves forward to address the Covid-19 crisis and rising number of cases, which surpassed Mumbai on Wednesday.
As part of the plan, the state government will initiate door-to-door screening of residents to check for fever and other symptoms, and comorbidities, officials said. “The team will make a list of people who are at high risk and will monitor them,” a senior health ministry official said.
With focus on contact tracing, the Delhi government has recommended institutional quarantine for every Covid-19 patient except for those patients who have facilities at home and have no comorbidity. They will have to go to Covid-19 centres, officials said.
The state government has changed the course of action in the last few days with the sudden surge in the number of cases.
The city has been following different strategies for testing — the standard RTPCR tests, the rapid antigen testing, and now it will start a third testing strategy, of antibody testing. This is part of the government’s move to start serosurveillance of about 20,000 people in the city from next week. Serosurveillance provides estimates of antibody levels against the virus.
“The serosurveillance will be done by antibody testing to see how much of the population is exposed to the infection as of now,” said a senior government official who did not wish to be identified. “People will be randomly selected.”
The plan fits in with the firmer focus on effective monitoring of active cases and contact tracing, said the official.
Delhi has become a cause of concern for the central government adding 3,788 new cases on Wednesday to take the total to 70,390, surpassing Mumbai’s 69,258 cases so far. The capital has recorded 2,365 deaths so far, and has 26,588 active cases.
Union home minister Amit Shah has held a series of meetings with CM Arvind Kejriwal, deputy CM Manish Sisodia, lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, and senior officials to discuss the action plan.