The Delhi government said in an order on Sunday that all coronavirus patients will be referred to Covid-19 care centres to determine whether they can be isolated in their homes, or need institutional quarantine, NDTV reported. The revised order came after Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal withdrew an order mandating five-day institutional quarantine for all those who test positive for the virus.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had opposed Baijal’s directive, saying that it would lead to chaos. The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party had described the move as arbitrary and said that it will “seriously harm” people. In response, Baijal withdrew the directive, and clarified that only those who do not require hospitalisation and do not have adequate facilities for home isolation would be required to undergo institutional isolation.
“All individuals who are positive will be referred to the Covid care centres for assessment of clinical conditions, severity of illness and presence of co-morbities,” the Delhi government’s order on Sunday read. “Simultaneously, physical assessment will also be done whether adequate facilities for home isolation like minimum two rooms and separate toilet exists so that the family members and neighbours are protected and a cluster of cases does not develop in that locality.”
The order added that if it is found that adequate facilities for home quarantine exist, the infected person has no co-morbidities and does not require hospitalisation, the individual will be offered the option of home isolation or a stay in a Covid-19 care centre or hotels designated for isolation.
The order asked people living in home isolation to follow the guidelines set by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. “They should stay in touch with health care providers so that if their condition deteriorates, they can be moved to the Covid hospitals,” the order said.
Delhi has reported 56,746 coronavirus cases and 2,112 deaths as of Sunday evening, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It is the second-most infected city in the country after Mumbai.
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.