Leaves Of Delhi Government Hospitals' Staff Cancelled As COVID Cases Rise

Coronavirus Delhi: The government allowed state-run hospital employees to take leave under the "most compelling circumstances"

Coronavirus Delhi: COVID-19 cases in the national capital have been rising

New Delhi:

The Delhi government has cancelled the leaves of all employees including doctors and support staff of hospitals under its health department as coronavirus cases in the national capital continue to rise.

Delhi has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

"All MDs, dean and directors of hospitals and medical institutions under the Health and Family Welfare Department are advised to issue directions to all the staff under their control who are on leave of any kind to immediately report for their duties..." the Delhi government said in an order.

It allowed government hospital employees to take leave under the "most compelling circumstances".

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has said all COVID-19 patients in the national capital must be quarantined for at least five days at government-run facilities before being allowed to self-isolate at home.

The move is facing criticism from the Arvind Kejriwal government.

The Delhi government has criticised the decision, pointing to a shortage of doctors, nurses and space to set up huge quarantine facilities. The latest order to cancel their leave could be in anticipation of more people going for institutional quarantine.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Atishi, who this week tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating at home with mild symptoms, said being able to stay with her family was helping her recover faster.

"Centre's decision of making 5-day institutional quarantine compulsory for #COVID19 patients in Delhi is wrong. I am a coronavirus patient and recovering at home. Due to this five-day institutional quarantine, people will now refrain from getting tested," she said.

Her colleague Raghav Chadha said Delhi would need 15,000 beds by June 30, but after this order, the city will need 90,000 by the month-end. "From where will we get these beds?" Mr Raghav said.

"I am already getting calls from the people of my constituency that they won't get themselves tested for fear of being whisked away to quarantine centres," said Mr Chadha, who represents Rajinder Nagar in north Delhi.