Delhi

Sisodia turns to Shah to change new policy for assessment of virus cases

Medical workers with rapid antigen test kits in north-west Delhi on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, requesting him to change the new policy under which people who test positive for COVID-19 using RT-PCR (Rapid Antibody and Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) method have to be taken to a ‘COVID Care Centre’ for assessment even for home quarantine.

“Yesterday, I had written a letter to the L-G (Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal) to change the new policy which is creating a lot of problem... I had told L-G sir to call an SDMA (State Disaster Management Authority) meeting and change the policy. But the L-G did not reply to the letter,” Mr. Sisodia said while addressing a video briefing.

“Today, I have written a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah to end the new policy. I request him Amit Shah ji to intervene and change the policy, else people of Delhi will face a lot of difficulties,” he said.

Delhi reported 3,788 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 70,390, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Wednesday.

Mr. Sisodia said that the new policy of taking every person to a “quarantine centre” has put a lot of pressure on officials and ambulances, resulting in people being taken to the centres in buses.

He also said that Centre and the Delhi government should together implement a system in which people don’t face problems. “There are currently two models on COVID-19 in Delhi. The first model is by Amit Shah ji and the second model is of [Delhi Chief Minister] Arvind Kejriwal ji… I have written to the Home Minister that this is not about your model versus my model. The focus should remain on what model when implemented would ease the problems of the people of Delhi,” Mr. Sisodia said.

Mr. Kejriwal also waded in again on Wednesday, saying the virus spread is still not severe in Delhi and the Central government’s order for mandatory clinical assessment is chaotic. “If a person is positive and has a body temperature of 100°C or 102°C, how will he or she stand in queue for a medical check-up?” he said while visiting a banquet hall that has been turned into a COVID Care Centre with Mr. Sisodia. The Chief Minister said the Delhi and Central governments are working hand in hand and requested the latter to roll back the order.

The new policy

Currently, there are two types of COVID-19 tests being conducted in the Capital: rapid antigen test, which gives result in 30 minutes, and RT-PCR test, which will take more time to give the result.

Under the second test, the result comes at least a day later and a team of officials call the positive person over phone to convey the results.

If the person is in moderate or severe health category, then he/she will be transferred to a hospital. But those who say over phone that they are pre-symptomatic will be shifted to a COVID-19 Care Centre for assessment of eligibility for home isolation, according to the new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) released on Monday.

According to the earlier SOP, the visit to CCC was not needed and a team of officials did the assessment at the person’s home.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 3:15:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/sisodia-turns-to-shah-to-change-new-policy-for-assessment-of-virus-cases/article31910244.ece

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