Ramp up Covid-19 testing infrastructure, HC tells Delhi govt

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The Delhi high court on Monday asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to upgrade the infrastructure related to testing for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the national capital. The HC asked the government to set up more testing centres and streamline the sample collection process as the caseload in Delhi has been rising exponentially for the last few days.

The order was issued by a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh after lawyers representing the Centre said they were facing difficulty in getting tested as labs were delaying the sample collection process due to the pressure, according to news agency PTI. They also claimed that the number of daily tests had gone down to around 60,000 from 1 lakh.

Also Read: Covid-19 lockdown extended in Delhi by a week till May 3

Delhi on Sunday reported a single-day surge of 22,933 Covid-19 cases, slightly lower than what the city has been reporting for the past few days. The dip in numbers is being attributed to the reduced testing in the national capital. While the daily Covid-19 testing count was at 85,620 last Sunday, it was at 75,912 a week later.

As the virus spreads, killing around 300 people every day for the last few days, the medical infrastructure of Delhi is in tatters. Hospitals have reported a shortage of oxygen and ICU beds for some days now, and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday wrote to his counterparts in other states and Union territories asking for help.

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“I am writing to all CMs requesting them to provide oxygen to Delhi, if they have spare. Though the Central govt is also helping us, the severity of corona is such that all available resources are proving inadequate,” he tweeted.

In an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, Kejriwal extended the Covid-19 lockdown in Delhi by a week on Sunday. The lockdown will now continue till May 3. “Covid-19 is rapidly increasing in Delhi. In view of this, we had earlier imposed a six-day lockdown which was supposed to end tomorrow at 5am. Lockdown is the last weapon to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. At present, the situation is not improving. Many people suggested the lockdown should be extended. Now it (lockdown) has been extended for one more week till Monday (May 3) 5am,” the CM announced on Sunday.

(with agency inputs)

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