Health workers in protective suits shift a body of a coronavirus victim into a van at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi.| Manvender Vashist | PTI
(Representational image) Health workers in protective suits shift a body of a coronavirus victim into a van.| Manvender Vashist | PTI
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New Delhi: Hours after it sought written explanations from Covid-19 positive doctors and health care personnel working at non-Covid hospitals on how they contracted the infection, the Delhi government put its order in “abeyance”.

The government had on Friday evening issued the order in view of rising cases of infection among such medical staff.

“The order No 52/DGHS/PH-IV/COVID-19/2020/prsecyhfw/6363-6412, issued on 01/05/2020 regarding the shortage of staff in the non-COVID hospitals due to infection of Doctors and Staff, hereby kept in abeyance till further orders,” read the order signed by Padmini Singla, the Delhi Health and Family Welfare department secretary.

The earlier order, which was also issued by Singla, instructed all medical directors of hospitals under the Delhi government to “obtain the explanation from such persons on how they got infected or came in contact in spite of wearing requisite protective gears and maintaining social distancing”.

Also read: Delhi private hospitals refusing medical care due to Covid-19 will lose registration: AAP govt

What the order said

Singla had raised concerns over whether all precautions prescribed for health care workers were being followed.

“It is reported that many doctors, nurses, paramedics and other staff in non-COVID hospitals are either getting infected or reported as contact to infected person, and medical directors of respective hospitals are indiscriminately sending them in quarantine either at hotels or their homes for 14 days,” the order stated.

It noted how this situation has been causing an “unnecessary shortage” of doctors and staff at hospitals.

“It seems it is happening because either hospitals are not following SOPs (standard operating procedures) or such persons are not following guidelines prescribed for health care workers,” stated Singla.

The order was marked to all heads of departments within the Delhi government apart from medical directors.

Also read: Not enough masks & gloves, sanitation workers fear infection at Delhi’s Covid hospitals

Centre also takes note

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had also taken note of the situation during a video conference with the Delhi health minister, Delhi Lieutenant Governor and other officials earlier this week.

On 28 April, he pointed out that 4.11 per cent of the healthcare workers in the national capital were infected by Covid-19, and called it a worrisome trend.

This statistic included 13 paramedics, 26 nurses, 24 field workers and 33 doctors, he claimed, adding that these are the worst affected by the Covid-19 exposure in some way or the other.

Also read: Delhi ‘forced to agree’, Maharashtra says no — states split on MHA order easing lockdown


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