Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a meeting on Thursday to devise a unified strategy for Delhi and its neighbouring cities that comprise the National Capital Region (NCR) to tackle the pandemic. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also present in the meeting held at North Block. The meeting was also attended by Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and other senior officers from Delhi-NCR.
“In view of the structure of Delhi-NCR region, all concerned bodies need to unite and work on a common strategy against the [novel] coronavirus pandemic. In this context, I met with Delhi Chief Minister and senior officials of Centre and Delhi-NCR today to discuss how to evolve a strategy as soon as possible,” Mr. Shah tweeted.
Authorities of Haryana, U.P. and Delhi have imposed restrictions at different times during the COVID-19 lockdown over movement of people between the States, causing to inconvenience to many.
According to a statement issued by the Home Ministry, Mr. Shah said that if the price for COVID-19 tests are higher in the States of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana compared to the Rs. 2,400 fixed for Delhi by an expert committee under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul, then the State governments could decide to lower the prices after internal consultations. Mr. Shah said the committee had also decided on rates for COVID-19 beds and treatment, and these rates could also be applied to hospitals in the NCR region after consultations.
Mr. Shah directed officials from U.P. and Haryana to submit information about COVID-19 beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, ICU and ambulances available with them and their plan to augment these resources by July 15 to devise a common strategy for NCR.
The Centre has imported around 50,000 rapid antigen detection test kits from South Korea as it aims to conduct 6 lakh tests in Delhi to detect and stop the spread of COVID-19.
Ministers visit centres
Ministers of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy and Nityanand Rai inspected some of the 169 testing centres set up in Delhi that will give results in 30 minutes and help in detecting and isolating the patients breaking the chain of transmission.
“As many as 50,000 kits from Korea have reached here and will be used in 169 centres. Delhi has 431 ventilators and an additional stock of 500 ventilators is being procured. An additional fleet of 650 ambulances, up from the current 350, is also being arranged by the Centre,” Mr. Reddy said after visiting one of the centres in Basant Gaon, south Delhi.