- Decision after Arvind Kejriwal asked why separate guidelines for Delhi
- Order had triggered strong protests from Aam Aadmi Party government
- Order against top medical body's guidelines, Manish Sisodia had said
An order mandating a five-day institutional quarantine for anyone testing positive for coronavirus in Delhi, issued by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, was withdrawn on Saturday, a day after it triggered a huge controversy and strong protests from the Aam Aadmi Party government.
The decision came after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked why a separate rule was being created for the city, sources said, and opposed Mr Baijal's order at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority which is led by the Lieutenant Governor.
Regarding institutional isolation, only those COVID positive cases which do not require hospitalisation on clinical assessment & do not have adequate facilities for home isolation would be required to undergo institutional isolation.— LG Delhi (@LtGovDelhi) June 20, 2020
Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said that the order is against the guidelines of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), which has permitted home isolation for asymptomatic and mild symptom COVID-19 patients, and will create "chaos" in Delhi.
"Most corona patients are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms. How will arrangements be made for them. The coaches provided by the Railways for isolation are hot inside where patients cannot stay," Mr Kejriwal was quoted as saying at the meeting.
On Friday, Mr Baijal ordered a five-day institutional quarantine for all asymptomatic COVID-19 patients or those with mild symptoms, saying that home isolation without supervision was leading to a rise in cases. He also ordered that after the five-day institutional quarantine asymptomatic patients will be sent for home isolation.
The move was likely to put further stress on the city's stretched health infrastructure, which is grappling with an sharp spike in patients. Concerns were also raised that the rule would discourage people from reporting COVID-19 symptoms.
As on Friday, Delhi had more than 53,000 coronavirus cases of which over 27,000 were active. More than 10,000 people with active infections were reported to be under home isolation.
Opposing the Lieutenant Governor's decision, senior AAP leader and party's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said the centre is resorting to "dictatorship".
"It wants to send those who can recover within the confines of their home to rail coaches where the temperature is 47 degrees celsius," Mr Singh tweeted in Hindi.
(With inputs from PTI)