Doctors in New Delhi's Lady Hardinge hospital protested against the government's new quarantine guidelines by wearing a black ribbon and staging a silent demonstration on the campus. Doctors say that the guidelines released by the Union Health Ministry on May 15 do not provide an institutional quarantine facility for healthcare staff which is a risky proposition for the family of the staff and the community they live in.
Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) president Dr. Shivaji Dev Burman, said the medical fraternity stands together in this national response to the COVID-19 epidemic, and doctors and other healthcare professionals are putting in their best efforts but the recent guidelines by the government have dismayed them.
"Many doctors at the frontline, even after taking adequate precautions, are contracting the infection in different parts of the country. We have written a letter to the Ministry regarding the latest guidelines for quarantine of healthcare workers (HCW) dated 15 May this year, whereby, quarantine has been advised only in case of high-risk exposure or if HCW reports symptoms suggestive of COVID-19," Burman said.
RDA RML continuing with the black ribbon protest. We will not stop untill our demand for quarantine and testing is met. #QuarantineforHCWs @drharshvardhan @FordaIndia @PMOIndia @MoHFW_INDIA pic.twitter.com/pSXQP3Ce42— RDA RML Hospital (@RdaRml) May 23, 2020
He said the virus has an incubation period ranging from 2-14 days following exposure and there are multiple instances of doctors testing positive for COVID-19 following the second test or subsequently.
"Also, many asymptomatic patients are testing positive for COVID-19 at present. Under current circumstances, 14-day quarantine along with adequate testing for all doctors, following COVID duty, is a necessity in order to prevent spread of infection among their colleagues, family members, and in the community. It is essential to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among doctors for efficient maintenance of healthcare services," Burman said.
"So we have made a request in a letter to Union Ministry of Health to take measures for addressing the concerns of Doctors and make necessary amendment in the latest Quarantine Guideline, on an urgent basis," he added.