Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday said that only those coronavirus patients who do not have adequate facilities at home to ensure isolation, will have to be shifted to Covid-19 care centres and other medical facilities, ANI reported. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority approved a modification to the Standard Operating Protocol to give effect to this order, he said.
Baijal said that the modification was made to meet the twin objectives of containment of local spread and provision of timely medical care for coronavirus patients, in an effort to save lives. Thursday’s order means the rollback of a directive Baijal issued last week, making it mandatory for all coronavirus patients in the Capital to visit quarantine centres for checkup.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Wednesday asked the Centre to rescind the order. Kejriwal said that sending people to the quarantine facilities would be like a “15-day detention”. He also wondered how patients running high fever would stand in queues at these quarantine facilities for checkup.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and asked him to withdraw the order. Sisodia added that far from being a political fight about a “Kejriwal model versus Amit Shah model”, his request was an effort to implement a hassle-free system for the people.
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.
The Kejriwal-led government then issued a fresh order that said that coronavirus patients will be referred to Covid-19 care centres to determine whether they need institutional quarantine, following a directive from Baijal.
Delhi’s coronavirus tally on Wednesday crossed the 70,000-mark with 3,788 new cases and 64 deaths. With a total of 70,390 cases and a toll of 2,365, the Capital now has more infections than Mumbai, which has recorded 69,625 cases, including 3,962 deaths, so far.