Within 24 hours of passing the order to turn nursing homes in Delhi into coronavirus facilities, the Delhi government has withdrawn it. The Kejriwal-led government scrapped the order after it faced resistance from the medical community.
Experts and private nursing home owners 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... having bed strength between 10 beds to 49 beds declaring them as Covid nursing homes has been withdrawn with immediate effect..."
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. The move 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 have private testing labs, which means that turnaround time for reports would have been longer as they would have had to outsource it.
"In order to avoid intermingling of COVID and non-COVID patients in small and medium multi-speciality nursing homes (10 bedded to 49 bedded) and also to augment the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients, all nursing homes in NCT of Delhi having bed strength of 10 beds or more up to 49 beds are declared as COVID nursing homes," the order had stated.
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