Plea in HC questions quarantine norms implementation by Delhi govt

New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response of the AAP government on a plea questioning its way of implementing COVID-19 quarantine guidelines as one of the 72 families, which had contact with a coronavirus infected pizza delivery person, was put in quarantine for over 30 days.

Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Delhi government and sought its stand on the petition by a photo-journalist who was put in quarantine from midnight of March 24-25, when he had first contact with the delivery person, till April 28 -- for a period of over 30 days as against the stipulated 14 days.

Besides, the quarantine notice was pasted on the petitioner Amit Bhargava's house on April 15, more than 20 days after he had first contact with the delivery person.

The notice said he was under quarantine from March 24 to April 20, which led to his neighbours questioning him as to why he was not observing quarantine since March 24, said the petition filed through advocate Shyel Trehan.

The petition contended that the infected delivery person was diagnosed with coronavirus only on April 14 and therefore, the manner in which the government calculated the quarantine period indicated 'non-application of mind'.

The plea further said that on April 17 another home quarantine notice was pasted on Bhargava's door and this time period was specified -- April 14-28.

'There appears to be no basis for the calculation of a home quarantine for a period of over 30 days from the date of contact with the infected person, either clinically, or in law. The imposition of a 35 day quarantine period on a person who had a single defined point of contact with the infected individual, and who lives alone, appears to be arbitrary and reflects non-application of mind.

'The calculation and imposition of home quarantine on the petitioner (Bhargava) is contrary to the 'Guidelines for home quarantine' issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,' the petition has contended.

It has sought directions to the Delhi government to strictly adhere to the said guidelines and follow due procedure, 'when issues of liberty are at stake'.    The photo-journalist also contended in his plea that during the entire period he was not tested for the infection by the government and he could not go out for testing at a private lab as for that a doctor's prescription was required for which he would have to go out. PTI HMP SKV SA