Authorities in the Indian capital have stopped putting notices outside the homes of people infected with coronavirus because it may cause others to hide their illness.

“There is a stigma with the coronavirus disease and posters outside the house amplify that,” Delhi Environment Minister Kailash Gahlot said. “By doing away with this, we are aiming at increased testing. We want more people to get themselves tested without thinking of stigmas.”

Last week, officials promised that there will be no posters placed outside the houses of Covid-19 patients under home isolation.

The decision to remove the posters was made by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority. Currently, there are 12,890 individuals under home isolation, and the monitoring of each patient will continue.

Suranjit Chatterjee, a senior consultant at Internal Medicine at Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi, described the move as “positive,” but warned that infected people should stay at home and “show greater responsibility towards the community, by observing all the norms.”

Chatterjee believes the decision also comes as a relief to doctors and other healthcare workers who have been infected.

Ajit Jain of the state-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital agreed that “there is stigma” attached to Covid-19.

When a poster is pasted outside someone’s house, the neighbors start avoiding the family. Even after they recover, people keep away from them.

Total coronavirus cases in India stood at 7.12 million on Monday, according to the Health Ministry. The figures are behind only the United States, which is approaching 8 million cases.

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