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On Thursday, a big relief was among the many doctors and paramedical staff who are posted in COVID-19 ward at Lok Nayak Hospital, as Delhi government withdrew their recent order of cancelling quarantine facilities regarding putting them in hotels.
The order issued by the health department had urged the hospital authority to ask the doctors and paramedic staff to vacate the hotels by Thursday afternoon as they were kept for quarantine purposes or has to pay from their own pockets. This order has created a commotion among them, hence Lok Nayak Hospital has put its order on hold for the time being.
Approximately, 90 doctors from the hospital are staying in a 5-star hotel and almost 120 paramedics staff in different budget hotels as they are deployed in the COVID-19 wards of the hospital and are not allowed to return home without 14-day mandatory quarantine period.
Almost 60 doctors and 70 paramedical staff from Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital are staying in hotels for quarantine purposes, however the hospital administration has not issued any such orders LNJP had issued the vacate order on 20th May due to the direction issued by Delhi government on 18th May. The government’s order had stated that “regular quarantine of healthcare workers after carrying out duty in COVID-19 areas is not justified.”
The hospital order read that all categories of staff who are on quarantine are instructed to vacate the hospital-provided accommodations in hotels or dharamsalas by 12pm till 21st May. The hospital will not be bearing any extra charges accumulated thereafter and the same shall be paid by the guests who are overstaying.
A doctor said that they are living in hotels due to their helplessness. As they cannot go home directly from the COVID-19 ward because that might end up infecting their children and other family members too. After working in the COVID-19 ward for 2 weeks, they are required to stay quarantine for 2 weeks to avoid becoming the source of the spread of coronavirus.
A recent guideline has been issued by the health and family welfare ministry which has prompted Delhi government to issue such order.
The resident doctors’ association wrote a letter to union health minister Harsh Vardhan regarding this matter on Thursday. The letter stated that a recent guideline instructed provision for quarantine of only high risk contacts who managed COVID-19 patients without proper PPE kits or those who are symptomatic. It has cancelled the facility for other doctors and healthcare workers on COVID-19 duty.
The doctors said that after duty in COVID-19 should be quarantine for 14 days for all healthcare workers, regardless of being asymptomatic or using PPE kits. It is an essential measure and withdrawal of such facility can significantly increase the risk of viral transmission among doctors and their families, along with patients and community.
Source: ET Healthworld