The Centre on Thursday rejected allegations made by Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain claiming that the Ministry of Home Affairs was pressuring the officers not to increase Covid-19 testing in the national Capital. Jain had made the allegations in a letter to the home ministry on Thursday itself.
“The allegation raised in the letter of the Health Minister of Delhi Govt dated August 27, 2020, which is addressed to Union Home Secretary, to the effect that MHA is putting pressure on Delhi Govt officers not to increase testing in Delhi is false and baseless,” the Ministry of Home Affairs tweeted.
The ministry hinted at Home Minister Amit Shah’s role in increasing the daily Covid-10 testing in the national Capital from around 4,000 per day in mid-June to about 20,000 daily. It pointed out that the marked improvement in the Covid-19 situation in Delhi has been possible due to enhanced testing and other containment measures.
“An MHA note has only proposed that the views of an expert committee headed by Dr VK Paul may be taken on the proposed enhancement in testing in Delhi, for technical guidance on various issues such as mix of RT-PCR & Rapid Antigen, categories of geographical areas & demographics etc,” the ministry said in another tweet.
Responding to the ministry’s tweets, Jain said, “ I hope that the officers will comply with this msg from MHA. I am sure that the officers, who were reluctant to increase testing today citing pressure from MHA, will immediately increase testing in Delhi.”
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that Covid-19 testing in the national Capital will be doubled to 40,000 per day within a week. “..When some officers told pressure is being created by the Union Home ministry on Delhi officers that testing is not to be increased further in Delhi, I was shocked,” Jain had said in the letter. “I am stupefied as to why the Home Ministry is interfering in Delhi government’s work? Secondly, why Delhi government is being stopped from more testing in Delhi?”
Delhi has been witnessing a sudden spurt in infection again. On Thursday, the Capital recorded 1,840 fresh cases, highest single-day surge in August. Till now, Delhi’s tally is 1,67,604 while toll stands at 4,369. There are now 13,208 active cases in Delhi as of Friday morning, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.