UP government scraps hotel isolation facility
After a lacklustre response and the popularity of home isolation for asymptomatic patients, the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday scrapped the option of semi-paid isolation facilities at hotels for those who contracted Covid-19.
In Ghaziabad, about 34 hotels with 1,090 rooms had shown keen interest in the semi-paid hotel isolation scheme introduced on July 17, but backed out after home isolation was allowed three days later. Since then, only two hotels in Bajaria remained open.
“In all we have about 106 patients who are in semi-paid facilities. They can complete the period of isolation, but the district officials have been directed that henceforth no new patients will be allowed. Since the response of the home isolation scheme is encouraging, the scheme of semi-paid facility in hotels has been discontinued,” said UP additional chief secretary (health) Amit Mohan Prasad. “New patients will be either admitted to home isolation or to government Covid facility.”
In Ghaziabad, the two hotels in Bajaria had no patient.
“No patient opted for hotel isolation scheme in Ghaziabad in view of the home isolation scheme. They found it more convenient to stay comfortably at home. The two hotels in Bajaria were instead used as paid quarantine facility for people who arrived from foreign countries under the ‘Vande Bharat’ scheme and also completed their quarantine period,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate.
Under the hotel isolation, asymptomatic patients were allowed to stay in hotels with daily rental of ₹2000 on double occupancy and ₹1500 on single occupancy.
According to the official records, the home isolation was permitted to 4,043 asymptomatic patients in Ghaziabad alone. Of these, till September 29, 3,216 already completed their term of 10 days isolation, while 827 are still active.
Overall in UP, there are 50883 active cases according to the state control room figures of September 30, and 24,026 of these are in home isolation, besides 3727 in paid private hospitals and 106 in semi-paid hotel isolation.
Niti Aayog reviews
The officials of the Ghaziabad health department on Wednesday also attended a meeting convened by Niti Aayog member Dr. V K Paul in Delhi on the preparedness of the districts in the national capital region (NCR) with respect to administration of a Covid-19 vaccine in the future.
“During the meeting we were told that age group over 50 years will be the first ones who will receive Covid-19 vaccine when it is rolled out. In such a case we were asked about our preparedness and availability of infrastructure for storage. We gave our inputs saying that we have a central vaccine storage unit at MMG Hospital and 27 other storage units where our vaccines for other diseases are stored,” said Dr. NK Gupta, Ghaziabad, chief medical officer. “So, we will need to develop storage infrastructure for Covid-19 as it will be administered twice in a gap of one month. We also told that we will need to identify people aged over 50 years and more teams will be needed to be formed for the purpose. Dr Paul said that more meetings will be held in future date.”