The Aam Aadmi Party Friday said the Centre had caused unnecessary confusion in Delhi by first scrapping its home isolation guidelines, reinstating it and then releasing nation-wide guidelines that were similar to those that were being followed in Delhi.
Party spokesperson Raghav Chadha said the new guidelines issued were a copy of those passed by the Delhi government and contained elements that the L-G, as the head of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, had scrapped.
The guidelines had become a flashpoint between the Delhi government and the L-G last month, when the latter had passed an order that everyone who tests positive would have to spend at least five days in institutional quarantine. The order was later rolled back but the decision to remove the private call centre, which was reaching out to patients, remains stuck.
“The BJP government has now advised implementation of telephonic consultancy for Covid patients under home isolation… the same government scrapped telephonic consultancy provisions for such patients in Delhi. If this system of the Kejriwal government can be applicable for the whole country, then why did the Centre scrap it here?” said Chadha.
Chadha also said: “I believe the BJP government has only one goal – to create trouble for the citizens of Delhi by passing orders through the L-G, who is under the home ministry.”
Sources in the DDMA, meanwhile, said the reason the guidelines were scrapped was because the agency had been appointed without following due process. “The reason for scrapping was not to put an end to calls but to ensure the appointment is done through a tender,” said an official.
Delhi government officials said the firm was selected keeping in mind the time it would take to float a tender. Government sources said after the call centre’s services were discontinued, a tender was floated to engage another agency and bids have been invited.
“Even now, it is taking time to appoint a call centre through the tendering process. Our resources are stretched already and district officials have to juggle these calls, make assessment visits to homes, carry out testing in containment zones, screening and contact tracing,” said an official.
Delhi reported 2,520 new cases and 59 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total cases are at 94,695 while the death toll touched 2,923. As many as 15,878 patients are in home isolation.
The Delhi government Friday issued revised guidelines for home isolation of very mild/pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic Covid-19 cases, which now includes asymptomatic positive patients in the list. As per the new guidelines, elderly patients older than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung/liver, kidney disease, cerebro-vascular disease can be allowed home isolation after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer.
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