Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said he has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to restore the old coronavirus testing rules in the national Capital, Hindustan Times reported.
“I had requested Lt Governor [Anil Baijal] to change the rule under which every Covid-19 patient is required to visit a quarantine centre for assessment,” Sisodia told reporters. “It has been two days, but I haven’t received any reply. This new system has created pressure on administration. Today, I have written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting him to do away with this system as it will create chaos.”
Sisodia added that far from being a political fight about a “Kejriwal model versus Amit Shah model”, this was an effort to implement a system in which people do not face problems.
On June 19, Baijal had issued an order making it compulsory for all coronavirus patients to be placed in institutional quarantine for five days. After receiving opposition from the Delhi government, which had called it an “arbitrary” decision that will lead to chaos, Baijal 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. Subsequently, on June 21, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government issued a fresh order that said that coronavirus patients will merely be referred to Covid-19 care centres to determine whether they need institutional quarantine.
However, on Tuesday, Sisodia wrote to Baijal seeking withdrawal of the new norms, The Times of India reported. He also sought another meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority to discuss the new regulations.
“The new system is not suitable for anyone,” Sisodia wrote in his letter. “Under the system that was in practice till recently, patients in home isolation were provided consultation over the phone daily. This system was running smoothly. Is ending the system and calling patients to Covid centres appropriate?” Sisodia added that given that Delhi has around 3,000 new cases every day, it is impossible to provide for enough ambulances to ferry these individuals to Covid centres, and creates even more strain on medical workers. He also claimed that Covid-19 patients are afraid that if they do not visit a care centre, the police would arrive and take them there.
At least three of the 11 districts in Delhi have been unable to adopt the new protocol because of too many new cases each day, Hindustan Times reported quoting unidentified administration officials from these districts.
On Tuesday, Delhi recorded its largest single-day increase in Covid-19 cases ever with 3,947 people testing positive. According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi had a total of 66,602 cases as of Wednesday morning, including 2,301 deaths.