Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Saturday withdrew his order mandating five-day institutional quarantine for Covid-19 patients, and said only those who do not require hospitalisation and do not have adequate facilities for home isolation would be required to undergo institutional isolation.
This came hours after Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia opposed the order, saying it would lead to chaos in the Capital. The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party had described the move as arbitrary and said that will “seriously harm” people.
At a meeting with the Delhi State Disaster Management Authority in the Capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reportedly questioned the basis of Baijal’s order. He also highlighted the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research on home isolation for asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases across the country, and asked why the rules were different for Delhi.
According to Baijal’s original order, all coronavirus patients had to be kept under institutional quarantine for five days and then allowed home isolation, except for cases where symptoms required further hospitalisation.
However, it was unclear whether this only applied to those testing positive now or existing patients under home quarantine as well. Over 10,000 patients in Delhi are under home isolation currently. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has repeatedly advocated for home quarantine, and said it would otherwise strain the Capital’s already stretched health infrastructure.
Earlier in the day, amid criticism mostly from the Aam Aadmi Party, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy had defended Baijal’s Friday order. “Delhi LG might have ordered institutional quarantine for the benefit of those who do not have space in their homes,” he said. “But I think that he will issue another info[rmation] by today [Saturday] evening for people who can create an isolated separate room in their homes.”