New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) Days after a caretaker from Delhi’s shelter home was found positive with coronavirus infection and at least six more tested positive from two nearby shelter homes, the Delhi government is yet to start the testing and screening of all the occupants.

Speaking to IANS, an official said at least six occupants, excluding the caretaker, have tested positive so far and four shelter homes have been sealed.

“Four shelter homes have been sealed and cases were found from two shelter homes — at Jhandewalan Road and Gali Ravi Das. Those tested positive were taken to the dedicated health facilities, while others have been kept inside the respective shelter homes. They are not allowed to move out,” the official said.

The official also said that even those not staying in the shelter home used to come for lunch and dinner.

“We have repeatedly asked for testing for all. However, only once the screening was done and only a few were tested.”

The official said that while each centre has a caretaker, the people move from one shelter to another during the day.

“There is a possibility that the infection could have spread,” said the official.

Another official told IANS that all the protocols were followed and that the situation is under control.

“We have sent a medical team for testing. Those found asymptomatic were kept inside the shelter homes while those testing positive are being taken to dedicated institutions. The screening is done and the nearby shelter homes were asked to keep a close watch on the situation.”

A third official from the area said while only four shelters were sealed, at least 800 people were living in the seven shelter homes situated nearby, with about 450 people in just one shelter alone.

“Around 450 people live in the shelter home loacted in a commercial building in Motia Khan. As it is a shelter home for families, there are about 91 families living with aged people and small children. With so many people living together, maintaining social distancing is difficult. The government has been informed about the overcrowding in the shelter home as well as the risks involved. However, no step has been taken so far,” the official told IANS.

On May 4, the caretaker of the ‘Shelter number-14’ tested positive. Till Sunday, five more people were tested from the shelter home and were taken to the dedicated centres.

Another boy tested positive for the infection in the ‘Shelter number-15’, situated nearby.

Shelter numbers 13 and 14 at Jhandewalan Road, and 30 and 32 in Paharganj, were sealed after the caretaker tested positive.

The caretakers of different shelters were in touch to ensure all the resources are available to accommodate people.

The third official said even in the sealed shelters, there are about 50 people, but only 25 were tested.

“There was no information if anyone is tested negative. Only those tested positive are being shifted. It is very important that every occupant of the shelter home is tested for the infection.”

While the shelter homes are doing thermal screening, the official said “It is being said that most cases are asymptomatic. Only high temperature could be detected by the screening. It is important to take the samples of all the occupants to avoid spread of the infection,” the official added.

When contacted, the Delhi government said enough testing is being done.

“We are conducting enough tests and following the SOP. Screening is being done and testing of only close contacts and those having symptoms is being done,” the government said.




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