NEW DELHI: International travellers landing in Delhi are having a tough time in the hospitals even after testing negative. This is because of the government’s protocol of not discharging the patients until their genome sequencing tests are declared negative.
Patients admitted to the city’s private hospitals have written to the Chief Minister, complaining about the conditions in private hospitals and claiming that the hospitals are forcing them to stay put for more than 10 days in the covid ward even when they have tested negative.
One of the mothers whose 18-year-old asymptomatic son has been in the Fortis Hospital for over a week has written a blog. She said, “In case of Omicron, the person concerned has to mandatorily undergo institutional quarantine till he/she tests negative, irrespective of whether he is absolutely asymptomatic with very low viral load. If the patient is not found in need of medical intervention, he should be allowed to opt for home quarantine instead of institutional quarantine.” She added, “To make matters worse, patients don’t have any information about which lab gene sequencing test is being conducted in and how much time it will take.”
A patient who had come from Nigeria and has been staying in the hospital for two weeks said, “It’s very unfortunate that the hospital authorities claimed to have lost my g-sequencing test report. They conducted another g-sequencing test. Even when I’ve tested covid negative, the hospital authorities don’t let me go home and quarantine myself till the results come.”
Another patient who had come to Delhi from France on December 18 tested covid positive on the 20th. He had got himself admitted to the Fortis Hospital. “Guidelines for international travelers at the IGI Airport and testing covid positive need to be updated. Why are the covid negative patients made to stay back with other covid positive patients?”
A Fortis Hospital official said, “As per the government protocol, a patient will stay in hospital till his genome sequencing test comes out negative.” A medical expert said, “At the airport, people who have tested RT-PCR positive are asked to go to designated hospitals for isolation. There are four private hospitals and one government hospital. As per the government rule, g-sequencing is done along with RTPCR. There is an SoP from the government that the hospital can’t discharge a patient till the g-sequencing test report is available and the hospital can’t do a repeat RTPCR test till g-tests are out.”