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Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. (ANI)
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. (ANI)

Five-day institutional quarantine mandatory for positive patients in Delhi

  • According to government estimates, there are likely to be 5.5 lakh positive cases in Delhi by the end of July.
  • Delhi, which has the third highest number of cases in the country has a large number of patients recovering at home

NEW DELHI : Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal on Friday passed an order to cancel home quarantine for positive patients in Delhi. The order said that patients who test positive will have to spend five days of mandatory isolation after which asymptomatic patients will be sent home to recover.

Delhi, which has the third highest number of cases in the country has a large number of patients recovering at home. Of the approximately 27000 active cases in Delhi, 8500 patients are recovering at home. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government was pushing for home quarantine for patients who were asymptomatic or were showing mild symptoms to take the pressure off hospitals.

According to government estimates, there are likely to be 5.5 lakh positive cases in Delhi by the end of July. The order by the LG comes on the day when the central health ministry wrote to States for following the guidelines for effective Home Isolation issued in May that state very mild and pre-symptomatic covid-19 patients can opt for home isolation provided the patient has a room to himself/herself with toilet facility and has an adult attendant /caregiver.

“The covid-19 situation in Delhi is reviewed regularly in the ministry of home affairs and it was observed that ‘home isolation’ without physical contact to monitor patients may be a reason for increase in spread of covid-19 infection in Delhi. To limit spread of covid-19, in view of the surge in cases, it is felt that mandatory physical verification of each case under home isolation needs to be carried out by the surveillance teams of the district surveillance officers under overall supervision of the district magistrate," the order said.

The order is likely to stir a controversy given that it will increase the load in hospitals which are already facing a crunch.

The Delhi government in a statement asked the central home ministry to reconsider their decision. They said that home isolation had given those with mild symptoms to get tested, this will also put pressure on the hospital staff which is already short staffed.

"Home isolation encouraged a lot of people with minor symptoms to come out and test as they knew that they will not be taken to a hospital or quarantine centre forcibly. Today’s order of the Central Government stopping home isolation will discourage people from testing and further spread Corona as asymptomatic and mild symptom patients will resist testing and will not be quarantined. ICMR guidelines are still applicable to the rest of India, then why are there different parameters for Delhi?," the statement said.

" We have been completely supportive of the Central Govt in our collective fight against Corona, but this arbitrary decision will seriously harm Delhi. They should re-consider this decision," the statement said.

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