Delhi will need 90,000 beds to follow LG order on quarantine: AAP MLA

On Friday, Lt Governor Anil Baijal had said all COVID-19 patients must be quarantined for at least five days at government-run facilities before being allowed to self-isolate at home

Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, AAP, coronavirus, COVID-19, Lockdown, self-isolation
Last week the Supreme Court lashed out, terming the coronavirus situation in Delhi as "horrendous, horrific and pathetic". Photo: PTI

Delhi will need 90,000 beds for coronavirus patients by June 30 if all the cases are required to undergo five-day institutional quarantine as per Lt Governor’s new order, AAP leader Raghav Chadha warned on Saturday.

The AAP leader pointed out on Saturday, that the Delhi government was already struggling to find the 15,000 beds required by that date.

On Friday (June 19), Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had said all COVID-19 patients must be quarantined for at least five days at government-run facilities before being allowed to self-isolate at home.

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“As per our calculation, Delhi needs 15,000 beds by June 30 but after this order, now we need 90,000 by June 30. From where will we get these beds?” Chadha asked. He added that the possibility of being forced to spend increased time in quarantine centres would dissuade people from getting tested.

“I am already getting calls from the people of my constituency that they won’t get themselves tested for fear of being whisked away to quarantine centres,” Chadha, who represents Rajinder Nagar in north Delhi, told news agency ANI.

On Friday the LG, who is also the head of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying: “It was observed that home isolation without physical contact to monitor the patients may be a reason for increase in spread of increase in COVID-19 infections in Delhi”.

Related News: Delhi govt to oppose Lt Governor’s order to scrap home isolation: Sisodia

In this regard, Baijal ordered five-day institutional quarantine for each patient before they are allowed to isolate at home. Patients with severe symptoms or those requiring hospitalisation will be admitted immediately, he said.

The existing shortage of doctors, nurses, and space to set up huge quarantine facilities has made the Delhi government criticise the decision and question the need for separate guidelines for Delhi.

This afternoon Kejriwal opposed Baijal’s order, pointing out that the ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research, the Centre’s nodal body in dealing with this health crisis) had permitted home isolation for asymptomatic patients.

AAP MLA Atishi, who tested positive for COVID-19 this week and is isolating at home with only mild symptoms, said being able to stay at home with her family was helping her recover faster.

In a video, she also said: “There are a limited number of healthcare workers. We want them to focus on severe cases in ICUs in hospitals. Mild cases should be allowed to stay at home”.

Last week the Supreme Court lashed out at Delhi’s ruling AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) over the coronavirus crisis. It termed the situation in Delhi as “horrendous, horrific and pathetic”, and criticised the state of hospitals in the city and ordered the Centre and Delhi government to address the situation.

Following this, Union Home Minister Amit Shah met Arvind Kejriwal, among other measures, deployed 500 specially-modified railways coaches to act as COVID-19 treatment and isolation centres for people with mild or moderate symptoms.

Related News: Indian Railways deploys 503 isolation coaches in Delhi to be used for quarantine

Delhi has reported over 53,000 COVID-19 cases so far, following a steep daily rise in new cases over the past several days; on Friday, the city reported 3,137 cases in a 24-hour period. Over 2,000 deaths have been linked to the virus in the national capital.

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