The Centre plans to conduct six lakh rapid antigen COVID-19 tests in Delhi at 169 new facilities, where 50,000 kits have already been supplied, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said on Thursday.
He also said the Central government is going to provide 500 additional ventilators and 650 ambulances to hospitals in Delhi, which has seen a spike in number of coronavirus cases over the past few days.
"From today onwards, 169 testing centres will be operational in Delhi where rapid antigen methodology will be used. We have targeted to conduct six lakh tests. People living in containment zones and relatives of the positive cases can go for test at any of these centres," Mr Reddy told reporters.
The Union Minister of State for Home also said that as of now 50,000 rapid testing kits procured from South Korea have been sent to these 169 testing centres.
He said Delhi currently has 431 ventilators and the central government will provide 500 more to hospitals in the city. Similarly, the Centre will provide 650 ambulances to add to the 350 that the city already has, he said.
"Because of the (coronavirus) situation, people of Delhi were gripped in tension. So, the Central government took the matter seriously," he said.
Mr Reddy said that following a directive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and under the leadership of Home Minister Amit Shah, the Centre and the Delhi government took certain decisions for the benefit of the people of the national capital.
The ministry had on Wednesday said that a total of 16,618 test samples were collected in Delhi on June 15 and 16, while till June 14, the daily collection varied between 4,000-4,500.
In order to improve contact-mapping in containment zones in the city, health surveys have been started and out of a total population of 2,30,466 in 242 containment zones, 1,77,692 people were surveyed between June 15 and 16. The remaining will be covered by June 20, it had said.
Home minister Amit Shah had a series of meetings with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior officials over the past four days to strengthen Delhi''s health infrastructure.
Mr Shah had also visited national capital's LNJP hospital on Monday and took stock of its healthcare facilities and gave necessary instructions for further improvement.
On Wednesday, the Home Ministry announced that the price for the COVID-19 test in Delhi has been fixed at Rs 2,400, as suggested by a high-level committee set up by the Home Minister on Sunday.
The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in Delhi has breached the 45,000-mark, while the virus has claimed about 1,400 lives in the city.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)