Delhi health secretary writes to police chief seeking adequate security at COVID-19 facilities

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Published: April 3, 2020 3:33:21 PM

During an interaction over a video link with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, a senior doctor had also said that the patients brought from the Nizamuddin Markaz were "not cooperating" with the medical staff.

Medical staff wearing masks and protective suits outside an isolation ward. PTI Photo

Delhi health department authorities wrote to the city police commissioner on Thursday, seeking deployment of adequate security personnel at the hospitals designated for COVID-19 treatment and the quarantine facilities in the national capital.

In a letter to the police chief, Delhi Health Secretary Padmini Singla said the coronavirus patients brought from the Markaz in the Nizamuddin area and some other patients were triggering a “law-and-order problem” and “commotions” in hospitals.

It said those who had congregated inside the mosque were brought out in a “massive exercise” held from March 30 to April 1, 536 of them were sent to various hospitals after they showed symptoms and 1,810 were sent to quarantine facilities.

One person from the Markaz, who was admitted at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, “attempted suicide”, but was saved by the hospital staff, the letter said. Two other inmates at a quarantine facility in Narela had escaped and were tracked in Patparganj, Singla said in the letter.

During an interaction over a video link with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, a senior doctor had also said that the patients brought from the Nizamuddin Markaz were “not cooperating” with the medical staff.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the national capital nearly doubled to 293 on Thursday from the 152 on Wednesday, with 141 fresh cases reported in a day, according to Delhi government authorities. Two more deaths were reported on Thursday, taking the COVID-19 toll in Delhi to four. These cases include 182 people who took part in a religious congregation in the Nizamuddin area last month, the Delhi health department said in a statement.

“In view of the above, I am directed to request you to deploy adequate police force at all the quarantine facilities and hospitals as per the list enclosed with the letter,” Singla said.

The listed hospitals are LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital, DDU Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital and the isolation facilities at AIIMS, Jhajjhar, besides seven quarantine facilities across Delhi.

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