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January 19, 2021
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Delhi govt, L-G spar over ending Covid home isolation

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday opposed Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s order for a five-day mandatory institutional quarantine for COVID-19 patients, asking why was a separate rule being applied for the city, sources said, as his deputy Manish Sisodia said they could not reach a consensus on the decision at a Delhi Development Authority meet.

 

The L-G is the chairman of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.

In a series of tweets, Sisodia said no consensus could be reached in the meeting on the LG order and the rate of private hospital beds and another meeting will take place at 5 pm.

‘The Delhi government opposed LG’s order on scrapping home isolation and no decision was taken on it. The matter will be discussed again in the evening,’ he tweeted in Hindi.

He also said the Centre has recommended for reducing the rate of 25 per cent private hospital beds while the Delhi government is adamant on reducing rates of 60 per cent beds.

Minutes before the meeting was to begin, Sisodia had said the Delhi government will oppose the L-G order on home isolation.

He said the order is against the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and will create ‘chaos’ in Delhi.

At the 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, according to sources.

“Most corona patients are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, how will arrangements be made for them. The coaches provided by the Railways for isolation are hot inside where patients cannot stay,” Kejriwal was quoted as saying at the meeting.

On Friday, Baijal ordered a five-day institutional quarantine for all asymptomatic COVID-19 patients or those with mild symptoms.

He also ordered that after the five-day institutional quarantine asymptomatic patients will be sent for home isolation.

The move is likely to put further stress on the city’s health infrastructure, which is already grappling with increased number of patients due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As on Friday, Delhi had 53,116 coronavirus cases of which 27,512 were active. The number of those under home isolation stood at 10,490.

Of the 10,961 beds, 5,078 were vacant.

Opposing the LG decision, senior AAP leader and party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said the Centre is resorting to ‘dictatorship’.

‘It wants to send those who can recover within the confines of their home to rail coaches where the temperature is 47 degrees Celsius,’ Singh tweeted in Hindi.

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