Amid objections by the Arvind Kejriwal government to his order for mandatory five-day institutional isolation for COVID-19 patients, Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Saturday said it would be required for only those who do not need hospitalisation and do not have adequate facilities for home isolation.
The order of five-day mandatory institutional isolation was opposed by Chief Minister Kejriwal and his Deputy Manish Sisodia in a meeting of Delhi State Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Saturday.
Sisodia said the meeting also decided that a maximum of 60% beds of private hospitals will be used for COVID-19 patients and of those, 100% coronavirus beds will be subsidised.
Baijal after the meeting said in a tweet, "Regarding institutional isolation, only those COVID-positive cases which do not require hospitalisation on clinical assessment and do not have adequate facilities for home isolation would be required to undergo institutional isolation."
In another tweet, he said the DDMA approved recommendations of a high-level expert committee for fixing subsidised rates for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals of Delhi.
Regarding institutional isolation, only those COVID positive cases which do not require hospitalisation on clinical assessment & do not have adequate facilities for home isolation would be required to undergo institutional isolation.— LG Delhi (@LtGovDelhi) June 20, 2020
Sisodia said after the meeting that Baijal's reservations over home isolation were resolved at the SDMA meeting and the home quarantine system will continue.
"The reservations of LG over home isolation were resolved in the SDMA meeting and the home isolation system will continue. We thank LG for this. Under the leadership of our Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, we will not let Delhi people have any inconvenience," he tweeted.
As DDMA head, Baijal on Friday issued orders changing the quarantine protocol for coronavirus-positive patients in the city. Officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the order came after Home Minister Amit Shah told Delhi government officers at a review meeting that one way to control the surging coronavirus cases numbers is to end home isolation since it was not being implemented properly.
AAP MLA Atishi, who has tested positive for the coronavirus and is currently asymptomatic, said, "The Centre's decision of making five-day institutional quarantine compulsory for COVID-19 patients in Delhi is wrong. I am a coronavirus patient and recovering at home. Due to this five-day institutional quarantine, people will now refrain from getting tested."
At the DDMA meeting, Kejriwal said the ICMR has permitted home isolation for asymptomatic and mild symptom Covid-19 patients in the whole country, then why a separate rule was employed in case of Delhi.
Baijal's decision has also been challenged in the Delhi High Court, with petitioner Nancy Roy arguing that the order will discourage people from revealing their coronavirus-positive status and increase the risk of further spread of the infection in the national capital. The petition could be taken up for hearing next week.