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Healthcare workers confused over new SOP

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jun 11, 2020 7:27 am
A healthcare worker picks up litter at NHAK (now Covid-19 hospital) in Kohima. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, June 10 (EMN):
The Indian government’s recent standard operating procedure (SOP) for quarantining of frontline workers has left many Nagaland healthcare workers, who have been serving and helping the returnees, confused as they think 14-day quarantine is still mandatory.

According to new guideline issued by the Union Health ministry on May 15, healthcare workers don’t need to undergo quarantine unless in cases like PPE use violation, high-risk exposure or those with Covid-19 symptoms.

Reliable sources informed Eastern Mirror that many healthcare workers in Nagaland are in dilemma as they were asked by the authority to “walk out” from their quarantine centres even before completing 14-day quarantine period.

It was informed that the authority has asked a batch of medical personnel, who are currently observing their confinement period in Kohima, to leave their designated quarantine centre even though their 14-day quarantine period is not over.

It was also said that two batches of medical personnel, on completion of their quarantine period at a designated centre in the state capital, have been reportedly assigned duty to quarantine centres even before the results of their samples were declared.

However, a medical officer from Kohima told this newspaper that there was no such report. It was also informed that a mobile team and programme officers are monitoring and supervising the medical professionals who are on active duty and who are not, since healthcare workers are placed in “different category” whether “they are exposed to high risk or low risk.”

In regard to quarantining period, the official said that medical personnel have demanded 14-day quarantine period though the directive from the department of Health and Family Welfare has allotted only seven-day institutional quarantine.

“There was neither complaint nor ‘walk out’ from their quarantine centre,” the official informed, adding that “no one has been asked to go out” and there was no issue from healthcare workers.

It may be mentioned that more than one hundred returnees have been tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Nagaland, and the patients are undergoing quarantine at designated centres with medical personnel examining round the clock.

Meanwhile, many frontline healthcare workers have expressed disappointment over stigmatisation and complaint about their respective localities not allowing them to enter their own homes after performing their duties.

They shared that senior citizens and NGOs should tell the people in their respective localities that ‘frontline workers are in no way the virus carrier, because even if they attend to returnees and patients, they are doing so in full protective gear.’

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jun 11, 2020 7:27:00 am