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Delhi Govt. medics protest denial of quarantine

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Medics protest wearing black ribbons at a Government hospital in Delhi.

 Rohit Shishodia
Doctors and healthcare workers from Delhi government hospitals wore black ribbons to work on May 22, 2020, in protest against denial of quarantine facilities for doctors engaged in treatment of Covid patients.

It may be noted that Union Health Ministry, in its recent guidelines, has stated that doctors who have high risk exposure will only be quarantined while doctors have demanded that all doctors on Covid duty must be quarantined to avoid risk of spreading the virus to their families and friends.

Earlier, all doctors on Covid duty used to be sent for quarantine but now only those who have high risk will be quarantined.  

Federation of Resident Doctors Association (Forda)-India said that as per recent guidelines, quarantine has been advised only in case of high risk exposure or if healthcare workers report symptoms suggestive of Covid.

This has not gone down well with doctors. They have expressed unhappiness over this move and decided to have black ribbon protest in government hospitals in Delhi which began in RML, Lady Hardinge, USMC, MAMC, Sanjay Gandhi, Ambedkar, Safdarjung and other government hospitals.

The doctors said that Covid has an incubation period ranging from 2 to 14 days following exposure. There are multiple instances of doctors testing positive for Covid-19. Under the current circumstances, adequate quarantine, along with adequate testing for all doctors and other healthcare workers, is a necessity.

The doctors pointed out that they don’t need five star hotel quarantine facility but they need to be quarantined for fourteen days. They said that if they don’t get quarantine, then they may spread the Covid infection to their family members and friends.

Dr Saksham Mittal, Treasurer, RDA, RML hospital, said that doctors on Covid duty don’t seek quarantine in five star hotels but any decent place so that they can stay away from their families. "We also demand mandatory testing for Covid doctors. At present, government is not testing doctors for the virus,” he added.

As per doctors, government has said that the doctors who are equipped with PPE kits are safe and they cannot get infection. But doctors have refuted this claim and said that there have been instances of doctors wearing PPE kits being infected. "There is no study on fool proof safety of PPE kits. We demand quarantine,” they added.


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