New Delhi: House-to-house screening in rural areas, restricting movement of vehicles and intensive surveillance drive in urban areas across the national capital region (NCR) were some of the suggestions given by chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi when they met home minister Amit Shah via video conferencing to formulate strategy for Delhi and adjoining satellite towns on Thursday.
The meeting of the chief ministers with home minister is significant because this is the first time when chief ministers of all three states, which are part of NCR, have been brought together by the union government to find a common solution to the growing cases of coronavirus pandemic.
“HM Shri @AmitShah emphasised on, 1. Adoption of more testing using Rapid Antigen Test Kits to help reduce infection transmission rate. These kits can be provided by GoI (union government) to UP and Haryana 2.Focus on early hospitalization to reduce mortality rates," a tweet by official handle of home ministry spokesperson said on Thursday evening. It added that Shah has suggested options like telemedicine consultation and tele-videography with AIIMS could be availed by smaller hospitals in both the states.
In the course of the hour-long meeting, Uttar Pradesh, which has nearly ten districts as part of NCR, suggested that there should be greater restriction of vehicles to help check spread of Covid-19 in the region. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath also suggested that Uttar Pradesh would launch an intensive surveillance drive on the lines of pulse polio drive in all ten districts of Meerut division which includes districts of Ghaziabad, Nodia, Meerut, Baghpat, Hapur and Muzzaffarnagar.
"Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed to exercise caution over traffic movement in NCR districts. He said the restrain over movements in NCR districts can check the Covid spread. CM has directed to launch 10 days intensive surveillance drive on the lines on Pulse Polio drive in all the districts of Meerut division and there should be gram panchayat and ward-wise medical screening teams should be set up for house-to-house screening. A total of 15,000 such teams should be constituted," said a statement released by Uttar Pradesh government.
Significantly, Uttar Pradesh has also suggested that all asymptomatic patients too should be admitted to Covid-19 hospitals and there should be one functional quarantine centre along with community kitchen in every district in NCR.
The meeting on Thursday comes days after the Supreme Court asked officials from all the three states to evolve a common programme and portal to facilitate interstate movement in NCR amid the gradual lifting of the nationwide lockdown.
During the meeting, Haryana has also suggested that there should be greater monitoring of people who are travelling in NCR and also there should be greater testing in the NCR region to avoid spread of Covid-19.
Coronavirus pandemic has led to over 89,000 people testing positive in Delhi and killed 2,803 as on Wednesday. Currently, Delhi has over 27,000 active cases. In Uttar Pradesh, number of positive cases has reached 24,056 cases (out of which 6,709 are active) and 718 deaths. The NCR region has been most affected by the pandemic.
In the NCR district of Gautam Buddh Nagar, 2,362 Covid-19 cases have been detected positive and 22 people have lost their lives so far. In Ghaziabad, so far 851 people have been infected by the coronavirus and 56 have died. A total of 14,941 Covid-19 cases were detected in Haryana and the virus so far has claimed 240 lives in the state. Gurgaon and Faridabad have reported 92 and 80 fatalities, respectively. The two districts put together account for over 9,300 infections.
"Gurugram, Faridabad and Sonepat are the worst affected districts in Haryana. Out of the over 14,000 cases in the state, there are over 10,000 cases in just these three districts and they are also part of NCR. There is a need to take greater precaution in NCR," said a senior BJP leader.
PTI contributed to the story