New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) With the delivery of 1 lakh coronavirus rapid testing kits, the Delhi government will on Friday launch a massive testing drive across the city to identify the hotspots in order to contain the spread of the Covid-19.
"The random tests are very crucial to check the community spread of the virus. This will help in spotting the cases faster and taking the other steps in an appropriate direction, like declaring an area a hotspot and containment zone," a Health Department official told IANS.
The random testing will be done across the city and the government is aiming for an average 1,000 to 1,500 tests per day.
According to the Health Ministry, an area with 10 or more cases of an infection is called a cluster and if multiple clusters develop in any region and have the potential to spread it further, it is called a hotspot.
However, for coronavirus, it is an emerging term and even an area with one positive case can be called a hotspot, depending upon the possibility of the spread in that area, the official said.
After an area is declared a hotspot or has the capacity to be a hotspot, the authorities have the right to restrict the movement of the people and make the area a containment zone -- locking down a defined geographic area to contain the outbreak of Covid-19.
The containment zones, created to map the local transmission of the disease and prevent the contagion from spreading, are announced by the District Magistrate.
It completely shuts the movement of the common people with the authorities taking care of the essential supplies. The area and the houses in it are sanitised properly.
So far, several pockets in the city have been declared containment zones, including parts of Nizamuddin, Dilshad Garden, Vasundhara Enclave, Kalyanpuri, Pandav Nagar, Krishan Kunj, Khichripur, Malviya Nagar, Sangam Vihar and Patparganj.
"So, we are keeping the focus on the testing so that the people are contained to a limited area, if more cases are found," the official said.
The testing, so far, was done only for those having visible symptoms -- as directed by the Centre.
"Also, we had limited testing capacity. Now, with more fast testing kits, the process will be done at a higher speed and this will be helpful in containing the infection. The kits will also be given to a number of private hospitals helping the government in the process."
Delhi has reported close to 600 positive cases since the outbreak of the infection, with more than 50 per cent cases from Nizamuddin Markaz -- where over 2,300 people from different parts of the world and country were staying under one roof without following any social distancing. They were evacuated last week.
Since then, the administration is keeping an eye on all possible locations which can turn into a hotspot.