New Delhi, July 15: When Covid-19 scenario in national capital Delhi went beyond control and the state government withdrew, the Centre took over the reins of Delhi’s fight against corona as a challenge.
Within a span of less than one month the scenario changed drastically and the curve has almost flattened. Now the national capital has come out of red zone following several measures taken by the Home Ministry.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah convened a meeting of all stake holders on June 14 and chalked out a strategy to check the rapid spread of the deadly virus. This was the time when Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia predicted the virus may spread its tentacle over 5.5 lakh denizens of the national capital by end of July. However, after Centre’s intervention the city has reported 1,15,346 confirmed cases. With 93,236 recoveries and 3,446 deaths, the state has only 18,664 active cases.
How Home Ministry contained the spread:
At first it set up a team of professionals, created consensus amongst stakeholders and fixed accountability at the cutting-edge level.
Meeting with all three stake holders – officials of Centre, state government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and discussing with leaders of all political parties.
It followed with setting up professional committee led by Niti Ayog’s Dr. Paul consisting of AIIMS Director and Union Health Secretary and responsibilities were fixed at the district level.
Organizations such as Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Health, para-military forces, voluntary organizations etc were engaged in the drive.
Simultaneously, rate of testing was stepped up from approximately 2800 per day to 17,000.
The cost of test at private labs came down from Rs 4,500 to Rs 2,400 after June 15 that encouraged people to go for testing.
The strategy also included setting up new Covid Centres and boosting bed capacity.
Delhi government was provided with 500 oxygen cylinders, 440 ventilators, 10,000 oxymeter and orders were placed for increasing number of ambulances by 2.5 times.
Besides government machinery, community based organization such as 755 volunteers, 28 NGOs, CSO, RWAs were roped in to complete the survey in stipulated time limit.
Specific guidelines were drafted to speed up home isolation under the supervision of local administration.
Specific areas/localities/districts were linked to specific Covid centers.
Corona beds were brought under surveillance for regular monitoring, mobile food facility to ensure every patients get good food particularly in those centers where canteen workers got infected. Arrangements were made to provide professional counseling for tired and mentally exhausted corona warriors.
Before June 14, cremation was taking days due to lack of proper arrangements. Now, there are no problems as every deceased is getting proper burial according to their faith.
It was not possible to fight corona in Delhi without integrating entire NCR in its strategy. Moreover, lack of coordination between states leading to lot of confusion in movement within NCR due to abrupt restriction and gaps in strategy. Thus, Home Ministry brought all three CMs under a common platform and evolved consensus in strategy.