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Do not fix what is not broken | HT Editorial – Editorials


In the midst of a long and arduous battle with Covid-19, meddling with successful, globally established health protocols on how to manage the pandemic is an ill-advised step. An example of this is the unnecessary flip-flop in the National Capital in recent days on a practice that has clearly been working well, not only in the city but in all nations: home isolation for mild and pre-symptomatic cases. Although Covid-19 is a deadly and life-threatening disease, it does not affect everyone in the same way. A large number of patients have no symptoms or are mild, and can be treated at home with adequate care and control. The idea of ​​keeping them at home, since they have isolation space so as not to infect others, and a caregiver who can meet their basic needs, is to keep hospital beds, health centers, and institutional isolation facilities free for people who really need it. they. This prevents the health system from overflowing, particularly in a country like India, where resources are inadequate at best.

In this universally recognized context, on June 19, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), which is chaired by the lieutenant governor with the prime minister as his deputy chairman, ordered that all patients, regardless of their condition, be maintained in an institutional facility for at least five days. While DDMA said the idea was to stop the spread in densely populated communities, data as of last week showed that of more than 27,000 patients who were in isolation at home in Delhi, only 1,618 (or 6%) had to be moved. to hospitals, while the rest had either recovered successfully or were on the road to recovery. The order led to legitimate criticism. The Delhi government questioned the reason behind this; district administration said it would not be able to handle the additional flow of patients; and health officials complained about the lack of facilities and the added burden of care workers.

The order was corrected the next day, and the status quo was restored with a major change: a mandatory first examination at a government call center for all those who tested positive. But this revised framework with mandatory review has already increased pressure on the city’s health infrastructure (patients, for example, must be transported to centers by ambulances), and the Delhi government is now calling for a rollback to the old system in The one that a medical team visited homes. As Covid-19 cases increase, home insulation will be key to fighting the crisis while maintaining a robust health system. The government and DDMA must develop a coherent and coherent framework, work on strengthening protocols and monitoring, and return to the previous system. Do not fix what is not broken.

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