New Delhi, July 3
Authorities in Delhi on Friday started the process of conducting antigen tests outside the COVID-19 containment zones, a move that will ramp up testing in the national capital as its coronavirus tally reached 94,695.
According to a health bulletin, 2,520 fresh cases were reported in the city on Friday, while with 59 fatalities the death toll reached 2,923.
On June 23, the national capital had reported the highest single-day spike till date of 3,947 cases. However, in the last six days, the number of fresh cases has oscillated, not showing a particular trend in figures.
The number of cases reported from June 28 to July 1 are -- 2,889 cases (on June 28); 2,084 (June 29); 2,199 (June 30); and 2,442 (July 1), with a steady rise in death figures.
The bulletin said 24,165 tests were conducted on a single day. Of these, 10,577 were done through RT-PCR while the rest were Rapid Antigen tests.
The authorities started conducting rapid antigen tests outside the 445 containment zones of the national capital, the official said.
The Delhi Government has given the task to every district magistrate in the city to conduct 2,000 rapid antigen tests every day in their respective areas.
On Friday, South Delhi, West Delhi, East Delhi and Shahdara were among the districts where the administration started the process of conducting antigen tests outside containment zones, an official said.
The official said around 25 to 30 teams have been constituted in each district to conduct more antigen tests.
With 2,000 rapid antigen tests per day, the testing exercise will be scaled up significantly with 22,000 tests conducted every day across the 11 districts in Delhi.
Delhi Government had earlier said it has procured six lakh rapid antigen test kits for screening COVID-19 infected persons.
The kits, called Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection, have been developed by South Korean company S D Biosensor. The testing method involves looking for antibodies which are produced when the body is exposed to a pathogen.
If a person has antibodies associated with novel coronavirus, it means the person is either COVID-19 positive or has recovered.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, suspected individuals who test negative for COVID-19 in the rapid-antigen test should undergo an RT-PCR test to rule out the infection.
Positive test results should be considered as true positive and do not need reconfirmation by RT-PCR test, it said.
In a related development, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met the family members of Dr Aseem Gupta who died fighting COVID-19 and handed over a cheque of Rs 1 crore as ex-gratia to them.
The chief minister termed late Gupta as a “people’s doctor” and said it was the duty of the government to support the families of those who have sacrificed their lives for others.
“Met with the family of Late Dr Aseem Gupta ji who lost his life to Corona. We cannot do anything to bring back the ‘People’s Doctor’, but it is our duty to support families of those who lay down their lives for us. An ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore was given to the family today,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Gupta, a consultant anaesthesiologist at the state-run LNJP hospital, had contracted COVID-19 while on duty. He tested positive on June 6 when he had mild symptoms and was shifted to a quarantine facility.
His symptoms aggravated on June 7 and he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the LNJP hospital. Later, he succumbed to the virus at Max Smart Hospital in Saket in south Delhi.
Another COVID-warrior, Dharamvir Singh, a sub-inspector with the Delhi Police, died of coronavirus on Friday.
He was admitted to the Kailash Super Speciality Hospital in Noida on June 13 for a bypass surgery, a senior police officer said.
Earlier this week, a 49-year-old Delhi Police Inspector posted with the Special Cell died of COVID-19 in South Delhi’s Max hospital.
Eleven Delhi Police personnel have died due to COVID-19 so far. Around 2,000 have so far tested positive for the virus, out of which 1,300 personnel have recovered. PTI
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