Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday authorities are conducting tests to detect the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) three times more than the rest of the country and that they have the infrastructure and capacity to vaccinate all of the national capital’s residents as soon as a vaccine is out.
“In Delhi, three times testing is being done as compared to the rest of the country. We have the infrastructure and capacity to inoculate the entire population of Delhi as soon as the vaccination is out,” Jain told news agency ANI.
Delhi has conducted over six million Covid-19 tests till now out of which 63,266 tests were carried out on Thursday. The health minister had earlier said that the testing capacity had reached the saturation level adding that labs were finding it difficult to release results of all RT-PCR tests within a single day. “The testing has reached the saturation level… Many people now say they were tested just two to three days ago,” Jain said.
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Delhi’s state immunisation officer Suresh Seth had on Thursday echoed Jain’s claims, saying everyone in Delhi can be vaccinated in a month and that there is sufficient infrastructure to cover the population if all nurses and hospital staff are involved. “We have 600 cold storage points and around 1,800 outreach sites for the universal immunisation programme for children. We have sufficient equipment for vaccines that can be stored at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius and those that need minus 15 to minus 25 degrees Celsius,” Seth said.
The Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital has been chosen as the first vaccine storage facility. The Delhi government is currently collecting data on health care workers who are a priority on the list of those who will be vaccinated first.
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Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that there should be no ‘VIP or non- VIP categories’ for vaccinating people as each and everyone’s life is crucial. Priority should instead be given to ‘corona warriors’, those having comorbidities and vulnerable groups such as senior citizens.
Delhi has so far logged 551,262 coronavirus disease cases, which include 38,734 active cases, more than 500,000 recoveries and 8,811 deaths.