Kejriwal said 3,057 tests per million population were being conducted daily in Delhi, while the same was around 3,000 in UK, 1,388 in the US, 2,311 in Russia and 858 in Peru. The pan-India number was 819 tests per million per day. The CM’s reference was to daily tests in recent days. When it comes to cumulative tests, the US, UK, Russia, etc all have much higher numbers (around 2.8 lakh tests per million). Also, daily testing levels have come down in countries that are past their peak.
“Around 60,000 tests are being conducted daily in Delhi. Andhra Pradesh is at second place with 1,362 tests per million population, Gujarat at third with 1,000 tests, Karnataka 983, Haryana 990, Maharashtra 802 and Uttar Pradesh 670. We have tested around 21 lakh people till now, which is 11% of the population of Delhi. No other state or city in the world has tested 10% of its total population,” Kejriwal said.
Before rapid antigen test (RAT) was introduced on June 18, 5,000-7,000 tests were being conducted daily in the city. Initially, it was used in containment zones. Later, as more RAT kits were made available, testing was expanded to all 11 districts. At that time, Delhi was facing its first serious crisis and nearly 4,000 new cases were being added daily. The government scaled up operations to test, track and isolate positive cases to reduce the spread of the disease.
The increase in testing was achieved mainly by expanding RAT as RT-PCR tests remained below 10,000. On July 30, 21,658 tests were conducted. Of this, 6,246 (29%) were done using RT-PCR, while 15,412 (71%) were done through RAT. Data shows RT-PCR tests remained between 14% and 20% of the total tests. From September 6 to 11, the percentage of RT-PCR tests stood at 26%, 34%, 22%, 20%, 15% and 14%, respectively.
Responding to leader of Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri attributing Covid management in Delhi to the Centre’s interventions, chief minister Kejriwal said, “I’m not saying that Covid management in Delhi is 100% correct. We are ready to rectify the mistakes. If we are at fault, you should also correct our mistakes. Delhi has elected both of us.”
The CM said more tests would result in more positive cases. “We should not be scared because of these numbers. We have to be scared of deaths and not let their numbers rise. The government has conducted micro audit of hospitals and taken various measures to reduce the death rate,” he added.
“The death rate in Delhi is 0.6%, which I think is the lowest among all the states. Delhi was the first in the world to introduce home isolation after learning that hospitals were overwhelmed with patients and many of them were lying on the road. We have treated 1,15,254 people in home isolation till now. Of these, 16,568 people are still in home isolation. Only 30 people have died out of 1.25 lakh people in home isolation, which is 0.03% of the total number, probably the least in the world,” Kejriwal stated.
Talking about the world’s first plasma bank being established in Delhi, Kejriwal said, “The work that we started in April and May was allowed by the US President on August 19. Around 1,965 people were given plasma in Delhi.”
Referring to the influx of patients from outside Delhi, the CM said, “Till now, we have treated 5,264 people from outside Delhi. I hope other states also invest in health infrastructure.”
“We faced the toughest challenges compared with the rest of the country because 80-90% of all flights ferrying Indians stranded abroad landed in Delhi. The health secretary had written to all district magistrates on March 22 saying that 32,000 people had returned to India in a single month and they needed to be identified. It was impossible to identify all of them spread across Delhi,” Kejriwal said.
Bidhuri said deputy CM Manish Sisodia had created panic by saying that Delhi would see 5.5 lakh cases by the end of July and it was Union home minister Amit Shah who had arranged for 20,000 new beds and provided ventilators, oxygen cylinders, oximeters, PPE kits, enhanced testing and capped the treatment cost in the hospitals.
Kejriwal said, “I want to thank the Centre for helping us whenever we needed them.”
Meanwhile, the capital on Monday recorded 3,229 fresh cases of Covid-19, taking the tally to over 2.21 lakh, while the death toll mounted to 4,770. Twenty-six fatalities were recorded in the past 24 hours, stated the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin.