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Follow admission protocol while admitting COVID patients: Delhi government to health facilities

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New Delhi, Apr 13: With an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in the city, the Delhi government has directed health facilities to strictly follow admission protocol while admitting coronavirus patients and said mild or asymptomatic cases can be considered for home isolation.

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The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said that severe cases involving respiratory distress requiring mechanical ventilation should be admitted to a dedicated COVID hospital. The government has warned of action for failure in adherence to laid down admission protocol.

In an order issued last week, the Directorate General of Health Services said that it has been observed that hospitals are admitting mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 which are not in line with the prescribed admission protocol. On Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had appealed to people to avoid rushing to hospitals.

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He had also said the AAP government did not want to impose lockdown in Delhi but such a situation may arise if there is a rush to the hospitals and beds are unavailable for the serious patients. According to official records, 6,940 beds have been occupied by COVID-19 patients till Monday while there were 19,354 people in home isolation in the national capital.

The DGHS said that admission protocol should be in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. However, patients suffering from immune-compromised status like HIV, transplant recipients, cancer therapy and those aged more than 60 years should compulsorily be admitted to COVID Care Centre (CCC) even if they are mildly symptomatic and they are not eligible for home isolation, it stated.

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If these patients request for home isolation, it will only be allowed after proper evaluation by the treating physician who will also issue a certificate stating that the patient is fit and stable for home isolation, the order said.

It also stated that COVID-19 patients with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung, liver and kidney disease and others should also be admitted to COVID Care Centre.

"It is reiterated that strict adherence to the admission protocol...is to be ensured by all stakeholders and COVID-19 facilities in letter and spirit while admitting the COVID-19 positive cases, failing which action as deemed fit shall be initiated by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, GNCTD," it also said.

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal said that Delhi has reported over 13,500 cases in 24 hours and appealed to the Centre to cancel the Class 10 and 12 board exams and explore alternative methods, including online exams. Warning that conducting the exams may lead to a large-scale spread of the virus, he said the centres could emerge as major hotspots.

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