All coronavirus patients in Delhi will not have to visit a quarantine centre for evaluation, the government said on Thursday, with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal withdrawing his order after strong protests from the Aami Aadmi Party administration.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had requested the centre to withdraw the directive, saying that the order was "not correct" and likened it to "15-day detention". The order came as Delhi displaced Mumbai as the worst hit-city in India with over 70,000 coronavirus cases.
Under the old system, which will be followed now, health workers would visit the homes of those testing positive for coronavirus and conduct a clinical and physical assessment to see if the patient should stay at home under isolation or shifted to a government facility.
This is the second time in recent weeks that Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who represents the centre, withdrew an order linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week Mr Baijal ordered mandatory five-day institutional quarantine for all patients. The Delhi government pointed out this would need over 90,000 beds, which was virtually impossible at this time.
The order was later modified to say that those COVID-19 patients with acceptable home quarantine facilities could stay at their residences. However, the centre still required those testing positive to first be taken to state-run facilities for further assessment.
Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia has said the frequent rules changes are confusing.
The AAP government in Delhi has defended its home isolation approach to the coronavirus outbreak.
Last evening's data showed Delhi detected 3,788 new cases in the preceding 24 hours, taking the total number of cases past the 70,000-mark.
Across India, the number of COVID-19 cases has reached nearly 5 lakh, with over 15,000 deaths linked to the virus. The country reported 16,922 cases in 24 hours, data showed Thursday morning.