The Centre on Monday attributed the recent surge in coronavirus cases in Delhi to the festival season, accompanied by laxity in adhering to the basic principles of safe Covid-19 behavior. The Centre also emphasised on the need to strictly regulate metro travel in accordance with the standard operating procedure to curb the spread.

Delhi is witnessing its third surge in Covid-19 cases. The Capital on Sunday recorded 5,664 coronavirus cases, pushing the tally to 3,92,370. The toll stood at 6,562 with 51 new fatalities.

In its statement, the government said it would focus on certain key areas such as targeted RT-PCR testing in critical and sensitive zones, gearing up on medical resources such as beds and ventilators, ensuring high degree of contact tracing and monitoring of quarantined patients to break the chain of transmission.

“It was also decided to enhance enforcement selectively, accompanied by greater awareness creation through targeted IEC (Information, Education and Communication) campaigns; and ensuring that all cases under home isolation were monitored and shifted to hospitals well in time, before any deterioration in their medical condition,” the statement, issued after Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla conducted a Covid-19 review, said. The meeting was also attended by NITI Aayog member VK Paul, health ministry officials, Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava, and senior officials of the Delhi government.

The statement added that the hospital bed situation in Delhi was “comfortable” with 57% of the 15,789 Covid-19 dedicated beds being vacant. It said that the Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar Verma and Delhi government officials had assured the home secretary that there was no let up in the enforcement and awareness generation.

Bhalla said the strategy to contain the spread of the coronavirus should be strictly enforced and implemented. “He stressed the need for reaching out to the residents of Delhi to sensitize them about safe Covid-19 behavior through RWAs, Mohalla and Market Committees, public announcement systems, message on police vehicles, etc,” the statement said.

The Centre would again review the Covid-19 situation in the Capital and the National Capital Region next week.