Though the central government’s new discharge policy for COVID-19 states that asymptomatic patients or those with very mild symptoms can be discharged without tests after 10 days, and then asked to self-isolate for a week, the Chandigarh administration said that it will decide this on case to case basis.
Chandigarh Adviser Manoj Parida said, “Our Health Secretary will take this decisionaccording to the infrastructure the person has at home. For instance, self-isolation would be difficult in places like Bapu Dham. If a person has good infrastructure where isolation is feasible, he can be sent back but if there is no such infrastructure, we will shift him to a quarantine facility designated by us.”
Director PGIMER Dr Jagat Ram said that this directive cannot be followed at present in most of the cases as the patients are from colony and areas where many residents stay in one room and they can infect others easily if discharged before being completely cured.
“Majority of our cases are from densely populated colony. It can be possible to follow the Centre’s directive only in those cases where there are three to four rooms in a house,” Dr Jagat Ram said.
He added, “If we send back these mild, moderate or asymptomatic residents back home, there are chances of spread of infection.”
Among 142 active cases at the moment in Chandigarh, only two are in ICU at PGIMER. The remaining patients have mild or moderate symptoms or are asymptomatic. These include a majority of patients from Bapu Dham Colony.
Those who are critical are a 60-year-old resident of Dhanas and a 67-year-old resident of Sector 15.
According to the new discharge policy, for mild cases no test would be required before discharge.
In case of mild/very mild/moderate or pre symptomatic cases, patient can be discharged after ten days of symptom onset and no fever for three days.
There would be no need for testing and the patient will be advised to follow home isolation for further seven days.
Only in case of severe cases will the patient be discharged after testing negative.
However, the city residents have expressed apprehension about the latest guidelines issued by the central government. Lawyer VK Sachdeva said, doctors must use their wisdom and discretion in case to case basis.
A resident of sector 15, Prakriti Chawla warned that many patients can still be carrying the virus even if symptoms go and ensuring isolation would be difficult.
“How will they ensure that isolation will be followed in letter and spirit after discharge,” Chawla asked.
Public dealing to begin from May 18
The Chandigarh administration will start public dealing in offices from May 18, and not May 11 as decided earlier.
The administration will follow Centre’s guidelines for its post May 17 strategy.
UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore, who participated in a video conference with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with other Chief Ministers, said that all states have been advised to make a proposal post May 17.
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