Health workers on ground make home isolation easy for patients despite confusion over orders

New Delhi: Over the last week, Delhi has seen a bureaucratic tussle between the Central and State government over the process of home isolation that has left many confused. Delhi has more than 15,000 home isolation cases as of now. However, despite the confusion of rules and orders, health workers on the ground have been doing their job to ease the panic among home isolation patients.

Vidya Devi, who is a health department worker at Dwarka's Bagdola, calls all home isolation patients in her vicinity to ask about their health status, every day. "Our work is to first visit the patients and check their vitals, after which we are to call the patient for 14 days every day and make sure they are okay," she said. Niharika, a resident of Dwarka Sector – 8 tested positive on June 15. She said that after she tested positive, there was panic initially but the health department made it easy for her to access services. "I was visited by the health department officials who checked my pulse and temperature. After that, I got calls from different departments asking for my information and making sure I was following all the norms of home isolation. It made my anxiety a bit better as they kept assuring me that I will get better," she said.

Niharika said that she was called by the Food Department telling her that groceries would be provided to her, adding that her house was sanitised after she tested positive. The health workers on the ground have been tediously working to make sure the patients are regularly getting checked. "Our work requires us to be on the ground almost every day. We visit containment zones as well. It is difficult and dangerous but we have to keep doing our job," said a health worker on the field in Dwarka, who was on his way to visit a positive patient. Almost all asymptomatic and mild patients are in home isolation.

"After a patient is tested positive we visit the home, enquiring where the patient has serious issues. If that is the case, we take the next course of action. But if they are asymptomatic then we ask them to isolate themselves with a different bathroom. They also need to wash their own utensils and clothes and wear masks inside the house," said a health department worker at Raj Nagar dispensary who works for the Delhi government.

Anshika, a resident of Mehrauli, whose husband had tested positive and had recovered under home isolation, applauded the revised order that came on Thursday. "I feel home isolation, for those who can afford it is a viable option. Of course, Delhi has small houses so it is not possible for many, but given the choice, home isolation is better and hygienic," she said.

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