Sisodia asks L-G to scrap new guidelines

Rapid antigen testing in progress at a government school in the Capital on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: R_V_Moorthy

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said he has written to Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal urging him to end the new system under which people who test positive for COVID-19 will have to visit a ‘COVID Care Centre’ (CCC) to get examined.

Currently, there are two types of COVID-19 tests done in the Capital: rapid antigen test, which gives result in 30 minutes, and RT-PCR test, which takes more time.

If a patient has moderate or severe symptoms, he will be transferred to a hospital.

However, patients with mild symptoms or who are pre-symptomatic will be shifted to a care centre to assess eligibility for home isolation, state the new SoP issued on Monday.

On Sunday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that all COVID-19 positive cases should be first referred to a CCC. The new SoP was issued following this note.

During a video briefing on Tuesday, Mr. Sisodia said: “I have written to the L-G to implement the earlier system in Delhi, in which, if a person tests positive, then a government medical team visits him, and if he does not have any symptom then he is home quarantined. If he has any symptoms, then he is shifted to a hospital and if his house is not appropriate, then he is moved to a quarantine centre.”

Around 3,000 people test positive for the virus and if they are to stand in queues in quarantine centres, then their problems will increase, Mr. Sisodia said, adding: “I have urged the L-G to end the new SoP and I hope he will call a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority [SDMA] and change the policy and end people’s misery.”

“Every new COVID-19 patient is worried that he will have to stand in the line at a quarantine centre and get examined. Why should he go? How will he go? The government should help him or increase his difficulty,” Mr. Sisodia added.

Facing difficulties

Officials in three of the 11 districts in Delhi said that they were finding it difficult to implement the new policy.

“In all RT-PCR positive cases, a team, including a medical officer, is going to the patient’s house. If it is a mild case, we tell them that they have to go to a CCC for examination, but if they oppose, then the medical officer examines the patient at their house itself,” said an official in south-west district.

The official said that taking every mild case to a CCC is “not possible”.

“We have few ambulances to take these people to a CCC. It is easy to say it in theory, but it is very difficult to implement,” said an official of the south district.

‘Practical step’

An official of the north district said that mild cases should be sent to dispensaries instead of care centres for assessment.

“The district has only one CCC, but has 33 dispensaries and each one has a medical officer. So it’s more practical and feasible to take them to a dispensary for assessment,” the official said.

The official said that under the old system, people living in high-population areas were also home quarantined, which could lead to the spread of the virus. He said that the new SoP is better but the government has to iron out the operational difficulties.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 2:47:07 AM |

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