India recorded one of the largest increases in coronavirus cases on Saturday with 14,516 positive cases in the past 24 hours. The total has reached 3.95,048 lakhs according to data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
According to the Union Ministry of Health, the national capital has reported 53,116 cases of the extremely deadly coronavirus and 2,035 deaths due to its infection. With this, Delhi has also become the second city in India after Mumbai to reach more than 50,000 cases of this Pandemic.
The abundance of coronavirus cases in the national capital has increased at an alarming rate. The jump in the number of coronavirus cases appears just days’ after a five-member panel established by the state government in early June said there would be 50,000 cases in mid-June.
The panel also said that the national capital will have more than a lakh of coronavirus cases by the end of the month, adding that Delhi will need at least 15,000 beds to treat patients.
Delhi Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Thursday that “ Covid-19 test prices in Delhi have been reduced to Rs 2,400 and rapid antigen testing has begun. I hope people don’t have any problems in getting tested now”.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also held a series of conferences to address the coronavirus crisis in Delhi and declared a series of measures such as doubling of the test in the national capital.
COVID-19 testing will begin at every place in the containment zones and a comprehensive door-to-door health survey will be conducted at critical points for contact tracing, he said.
He also said that a committee has been formed under the chairmanship of VK Paul, who is a member of NITI Aayog, to ensure the availability of 60% beds in private hospitals at more economical charges and to fix the price of coronavirus testing and treatment.
Five-day Mandatory Institutional Quarantine
According to an order issued by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Friday, “every corona positive person must remain in the quarantine center for 5 days.” Only then will the person be sent to isolation in their home. But if there are symptoms, they will be sent to the quarantine center or hospital accordingly.
However, Delhi government officials and many health professionals have expressed dissatisfaction with this order, saying it will discourage people from being tested when they become aware that they would not be in the comfort of home isolation and would have to undergo mandatory quarantine. They also said that patients with mild or no symptoms need not be admitted to a hospital.
Why Leaving Home Isolation is not a Good Opinion?
- Supervise Healthcare Organisation: Home isolation of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients is a vital strategy in the fight against highly infectious disease. But the government and many authorities raised the question that “Why unnecessarily burden the health infrastructure that’s overwhelmed when there’s a rise in cases?
Medical beds must be maintained for critically ill patients who need specialized care, otherwise, where will you keep your critically ill patients whose lives we’ve to save? The home is the most effective isolation facility as long as all protocols are followed,” said T Jacob John, former CMC chief virologist Vellore.
- Workers Deficiency: If all cases are to be admitted to institutional facilities within the Capital, the authorities will need to find additional specialists, nurses, and health workers. The challenge of ensuring more people has been intensified by the very fact that some health workers have a fear of getting infected. One more reason is several workers demanded higher wages. It is impracticable to do it in this economic situation, ”said a doctor in a private hospital.
- People may avoid testing: This move is probably going to discourage asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic individuals from testing. Some believe that moving to institutional quarantine amid a deficiency of beds and support staff will mean that the facilities aren’t up to scratch; They fear that this will prompt people to avoid getting tested.
- Cases might not be Identified: If fewer people are willing to be tested, the undetected spread of such patients is probably going to rise in the capital. With the detection rate dipping, more people are likely to arrive at hospitals once their infection has progressed, which may probably also have an effect on the recovery rate. The government also point out the risks of infections from crowded quarantine facilities.
- The Long-run strategy hits: To satisfy the demand for around 150,000 beds by the end of July, the Delhi administration has planned to use stadiums as alternative hospitals. It has also identified neighborhood facilities to meet the demand for beds, according to its forecast of the peak of infection in the Capital. This strategy, however, was devised within the model that included mild cases of quarantined in the home.
With the most advanced guidelines, this plan is compromised. If the guidelines are changed frequently, the projections and modeling of the scenarios will need to be updated repeatedly, creating a challenge for the long-run strategy.
Even most countries in the world suggest home quarantine for minor cases and the latest move by DDMA (District Disaster Management Authority) must be rethought.
The Delhi government further said it will cause additional problems for medical facilities that are already understaffed. They also said LG’s order will lead to a shortage of beds, as Delhi is already under great pressure to admit and treat patients.
Earlier in the day, opposing LG’s orders, Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that there was already a shortage of healthcare personnel and facilities in the capital and asked: ‘how will it be possible to organize doctors and nurses for thousands of patients in quarantine centers’.
Kejriwal also said that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given permission for home isolation across the country, so why Delhi LG want to implement different rules in the capital. The order is against ICMR guidelines.
After much controversy and fierce protest by the Delhi government led by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), LG Anil Baijal on Saturday withdrew his order of Five-day mandatory quarantine.
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
Reviewing his previous order, Delhi LG Anil Baijal tweeted this evening, saying that only those positive cases of coronavirus that do not have adequate facilities for home isolation and do not require hospitalization in the clinical evaluation would have to undergo institutional quarantine.
Globally, India remains the fourth most affected country in the world and follows Russia with 5.68,292 cases in total. In India, an increase in coronavirus cases will continue in the upcoming months. Therefore, India will soon be in the first position in the world in coronavirus cases.