Delhi Government scraps order converting nursing homes into Covid-19 facilities

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the situation of Delhi is getting worse day by day. Though in order to sustain people’s lives- both economically and mentally, lockdown 5.0 was implemented with so many relaxations. It was called Unlock 1.0 in order to unlock the country after the lockdown crisis. The national capital is witnessing extreme bad situations. As a result of Covid-19 outbreak, some crucial steps were taken by Delhi CM- Arvind Kejriwal which were disclosed on 7th June 2020, a day prior lockdown 5.0

It was decided by Delhi government that some hotel and banquet rooms may get converted into hospitals rooms as Delhi was running in shortage of beds in order to provide treatment to Covid-19 patients. Considering this point, the Delhi government declared that nursing homes should be turned into Covid-19 wards. But within 24 hours of passing this order, the Delhi government has withdrawn it. The Kejriwal-led government scrapped the order after it faced opposition from the medical community. Experts and private nursing homeowners had argued that the decision to turn nursing homes into coronavirus facilities would not have helped in tackling the crisis and would have, additionally, taken away the emergency lifeline for non-COVID illnesses.

After reviewing the order, the Delhi government stated, “The competent authority has directed that order…by medical superintendent nursing homes to keepers of all nursing homes… have bed strength between 10 beds to 49 beds declaring them as Covid nursing homes has been withdrawn with immediate effect…” In context to this Dr. Naresh Chawla, former president, Delhi Medical Association (DMA) told Hindustan Times that most of these nursing homes are non-Covid hospitals located in residential areas. This step could have only led to the spread of the disease in its locations and would have been a big risk factor for community transmission in the long run. Moreover, none of these private nursing homes has private testing labs which means that turnaround time for reports would have been longer as they would have had to outsource it.

Keeping in mind the crisis of coronavirus pandemic, Union Home Minister- Amit Shah on Sunday summons two back-to-back high-level meetings where Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and CM Arvind Kejriwal. He said that testing will be doubled in the next two days and increased to three times after six days. Also referring to the issue of shortage of beds in hospital across Delhi, Shah said the Centre has decided to immediately provide 500 railway coaches equipped with all facilities. The number of beds is set to rise by 8,000 with the provision of railway coaches.