A day after Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal directed five-day mandatory institutional-quarantine for every coronavirus patient, he revoked his decision on Saturday following stiff opposition from the AAP government. Now all individuals who test positive will be first examined at Covid care centres to find out if they need hospitalisation. It will also be checked if they have adequate facilities for home isolation. Only if they do not have adequate facilities for home isolation would they be required to undergo institutional isolation.
The development came after two meetings between the Delhi government and the L-G. It was attended by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and other senior officials of the Delhi government.
The AAP government had contended that the mandatory institutional quarantine will seriously harm the city as its facilities will not be able to take the burden of the rising number of cases.
In a meeting chaired by Mr Baijal, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) also approved recommendations of the high-level expert committee for fixing rates of hospital beds for treatment of Covid patients. Rates for isolation bed, ICUs without and with a ventilator in all hospitals have been capped at `8,000-10,000, 13,000-15,000 and 15,000-18,000 respectively.
The Delhi government on Saturday also issued an order advising hospitals and medical institutions under it to recall their staff who are on leave, asking then to report for duty immediately. Leave of any kind will be granted only under most compelling circumstances, the order said.
The order comes at a time when there has been an unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases in Delhi. The national capital, where the Covid-19 tally has gone past 53,000, has been battling a massive surge in the rate of infections in recent weeks.