Manish Sisodia writes to Amit Shah, Anil Baijal seeking rollback of new rule
Earlier, the Delhi government was conducting a similar assessment by sending health officials to Covid-19 patients’ residences.Updated: Jun 24, 2020, 14:44 IST
Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said he has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, urging him to roll-back the order, issued by Lieutenant Govenor (L-G) Anil Baijal, which requires every coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patient, who had tested positive through the real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, must be taken to a Covid-19 Care Centre (CCC) for a clinical diagnosis of the viral infection symptoms.
“It’s not a matter of Amit Shah model versus Arvind Kejriwal model of fighting Covid-19. It’s about ensuring minimum inconvenience to the public and also the administrative machinery fighting against the pandemic is not overburdened,” said Sisodia while addressing a press briefing via video-conference.
Earlier, the Delhi government was conducting a similar assessment by sending health officials to Covid-19 patients’ residences.
Sisodia, who has been holding the additional charge of the health portfolio after incumbent minister Satyendra Jain tested Covid-19 positive and is undergoing treatment, said the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) are causing chaos and stretching the administrative machinery busy combating the pandemic.
“Delhi is reporting over 3,000 Covid-19 positive cases daily. We have written to the L-G explaining how his directive is causing chaos. We have urged him to roll-back his decision. The district administration authorities are in the process of arranging buses to adhere to the order and they are overburdened. We have requested the L-G to preside over a meeting of the state disaster management authority at the earliest. However, we have not got any response yet,” Sisodia said.
Last Friday, Baijal had issued a controversial order making a five-day institutional quarantine mandatory for all Covid-19 patients, including those with mild symptoms, and are eligible for isolation at home and withdrew it on the following day.
However, the roll-back of Friday’s order came with the condition that all Covid-19 patients should be taken to CCCs for a clinical diagnosis of their symptoms.
The official notification of the order was issued on Monday, by the director-general of health services (DGHS), Delhi, which specified that all those who tested positive through RT-PCR should be taken to CCCs for clinical diagnosis of their symptoms and those who tested positive through rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are to be assessed in the clinics.
The order stated that a medical officer is empowered to take a call on whether a Covid-19 patient should be sent to a hospital or a Covid-19 Health Centre (CHC) or can undergo self-isolation at home.
The order further directed that a separate team be sent to the residence of a Covid-19 patient to examine the facilities required for self-isolation at home such as a room with a separate toilet, etc.
Jugal Kishore, head, community medicine department, Safdarjung Hospital, said: “If many Covid-19 patients visit CCCs, it will create multiple problems. It increases the exposure risk for healthcare workers; attendants, who accompany Covid-19 patients in ambulances; and also ambulance drivers, among others. Besides, a Covid-19 positive case can multiply to three in no time. In this context, it’s a logistically better option to send an equipped team to a Covid-19 patient’s residence.”