Arvind Kejriwal said the government has more than tripled its testing levels — going up from 5,000 to 18,000 a day

New Delhi, June 22:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said the government is going to help patients get oxygen easily — through a phone call. The government, he also said, has more than tripled its testing levels — going up from 5,000 to 18,000 tests a day — most of them through a rapid testing process that yields results in around 30 minutes. The fresh measures were announced as Delhi overtook Tamil Nadu to become the state with the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the country after Maharashtra.

The numbers in the national capital has neared the 60,000-mark — 3,000 people tested positive on Sunday, taking the total to 59,746.   Mr Kejriwal said only 25,000 of them are active cases, 33,000 patients have already recovered.

All coronavirus patients in Delhi will have to go to COVID-19 care centres and those who have facilities at home and have no other risk factors like diabetes, hypertension or kidney problems, can avail home isolation in the capital, the Centre said today, hours after the Delhi government issued a revised order on home quarantine.

As the death figures in the country took a massive jump, Mr Kejriwal said breathing difficulty and low oxygen levels in blood are the most common complications in the infection.

To counter this, the government, he said, will be providing “Pulse Oxymeter” — a special machine to measure oxygen levels in blood — at home, so patients can request for oxygen even before they have breathing difficulties. 

The district authorities have been provided with oxygen concentrators — a medical device that assists people who have a low level of oxygen in their blood. Depending on the patient’s condition they may then be moved to a hospital.

The testing levels of the capital have shot up following the intervention of the Supreme Court earlier this month. Aggressive testing, followed by isolation and treatment, has helped control the spread of the coronavirus infection in other parts of the world.

Union home minister Amit Shah had his third meeting in a week with Mr Kejriwal yesterday, and a fresh set of guidelines were issued soon after. It was decided that Delhi will go for a more “robust” contact tracing, re-mapping of all containment zones and strengthen medical services in areas most affected by the virus. The Aarogya Setu and Itihaas apps should also be used for contact tracing, the Union Home Ministry said.

The Delhi government was also told that every death will have to be reported to the Centre.