A day after L-G Anil Baijal said everyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will have to report to Covid care centres, the Delhi government is scrambling to arrange enough ambulances to ferry these patients. There are around 460 ambulances in the city at present. These include the cabs (Ola and Uber) that the government has requisitioned specifically for Covid patients.
“The daily case load in the city is increasing. We do not have enough ambulances to take everyone to Covid care centres for assessment. We are trying to push another 500 vehicles into the system to be used as ambulances, but even they will fall short if everyone has to be taken to Covid care centres. If a patient uses a personal vehicle or cab services, they will put drivers and companions at risk,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Delhi has seen over 3,000 cases every day for the past three days. On Sunday, the city saw 3,000 new cases and 63 deaths, taking the total cases to 59,746 and deaths to 2,175. Of the 24,558 active cases, 6,054 are in hospitals and 1,631 are in Covid care and health centres. An additional 12,106 are under home isolation.
At present, those who test positive are contacted by health officials and a call centre appointed by the Delhi government, and their health assessment is conducted. If they do not have moderate or severe symptoms, they are recommended home isolation with instructions to contact officials if the patient develops more serious symptoms.
On Friday, the L-G had ordered that everyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will have to spend a minimum of five days in Covid care centres, after which they would be cleared for home quarantine if they meet the criteria. After stiff opposition from the Delhi government, this order was modified and one visit to the care centre made mandatory.
Services of the call centre were also cancelled by the L-G. Sources said this has created a significant issue. “As the old practice was scrapped and the new one has not kicked in yet, assessment has not happened for several patients since Friday. These people should have been in the system already, assessed and given information,” said an official.
A Delhi government official said the issue has been raised with higher authorities in the government and a solution is trying to be reached.
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