Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday favoured a unified strategy for Delhi and NCR to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and said the suburbs like Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad can’t be separated from the national Capital in this battle.
Shah conveyed this message at a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior officials to review the Covid-19 situation in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), amidst increasing number of COVID-19 cases in these urban centres.
“In view of the structure of Delhi-NCR region, all concerned bodies need to unite and work on a common strategy against the coronavirus pandemic. In this context, I met with Delhi Chief Minister and senior officials of Center and Delhi-NCR today to discuss how to evolve a strategy as soon as possible,” Shah tweeted.
Authorities in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi imposed border restrictions on different times during the Covid-19 lockdown, leading to inconvenience to many and complaints about difficulty in accessing medical services during the pandemic.
According to a Home Ministry source, Shah said all authorities concerned in Delhi-NCR need to come together in this fight given how closely these cities are linked. “The home minister favoured a unified strategy for Delhi-NCR to tackle the coronavirus,” the source said.
Shah said there is a need to scale-up testing for COVID-19 and provide treatment to those found positive. The Home Minister also suggested that the NCR districts can consider adopting Rs 2,400 charge fixed for Covid-19 test in Delhi, besides the new rapid antigen methodology being implemented in the national Capital from Thursday.
A Home Ministry statement said Shah also told the meeting that an expert committee decided the rates for Covid-19 beds and treatment in Delhi, and these could be applied to hospitals in the NCR cities after consultations.
He said it would be better to conduct Covid-19 testing through the new rapid antigen methodology approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) which will ramp up the testing capacity and help in early diagnosis and treatment.
He directed officials from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana Governments 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 the Union Home Ministry so that a common strategy can be devised in the NCR in the battle against the virus, the statement said.
Shah assured the NCR districts that the central government will provide all support to them in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic, another source said.