Delhi L-G's Decision

Delhi L-G’s Decision on Making Institutional Isolation Compulsory for Covid-19 Patients Rolled Back

Aday after his order mandating five-day compulsory isolation for coronavirus-positive patients in the national capital created controversy, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Saturday withdrew it.

Baijal on Saturday evening clarified that only those positive cases that do not require hospitalisation on clinical assessment and do not have adequate facilities for home isolation would be required to undergo institutional isolation.

As head of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), 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.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government in Delhi had earlier vehemently opposed the decision to impose mandatory institutional isolation.

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.”

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal earlier on Saturday also opposed Baijal’s order, asking why a separate rule was employed in case of Delhi.

At a 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

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