India to survey 29 million New Delhi residents

NEW DELHI (AP) — India said it will carry out a massive survey for the coronavirus targetting the entire population in New Delhi of 29 million.

Officials will go each household to record each resident’s health details, and administer a test for the virus to those who show or report symptoms. The exercise will be completed by July 6, according to a plan issued by the government of New Delhi, the worst-hit city in the country with 70,390 confirmed cases.

Police will be deployed to enforce physical distancing and prevent the mixing of the population inside more than 200 containment zones in the capital, where large clusters of cases have been confirmed.

CCTV or drone monitoring will also be used.

Police will have to ensure strict perimeter control and “absolute restriction of outward and inward movement of the population”, the city government said.

Health workers screen people for COVID-19 symptoms at Dharavi, one of Asia’s biggest slums, in Mumbai, India. PHOTO: AP

India yesterday registered another record high of 16,922 cases, taking the total to 473,105.The Health Ministry also reported 418 more deaths, taking fatalities to 14,894. The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at 56 per cent.

New Delhi’s government has projected that cases in the capital area alone could expand to more than half a million by late July, and is considering taking over luxury hotels and stadiums to convert into field hospitals.

Armed forces personnel are providing medical care and attention to coronavirus patients kept in railroad coaches that have been turned into medical wards at nine locations in the capital.

The Health Ministry said it has ramped up testing to more than 200,000 per day across the country, raising the total number of samples tested so far to nearly 7.3 million.