Following the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi's Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital issued a notice to all its quarantined staff to vacate the hotel or rooms arranged by the hospital authorities by 12 pm on Thursday. The order issued by LNJP's medical director Suresh Kumar stated that the hospital will not spend money over quarantine after May 21 and the guests will have to bear the expenses himself or herself.
The Delhi government had earlier decided that the doctor, nurses or paramedical staff engaged in the treatment of COVID-19 patients will work continuously for 14 days, after which they will get 14-day rest. A 14-day rest meant that they should be quarantined so that their family is not at risk of the infection.
The Government had also asked the LNJP Hospital to make arrangements for all medical staff to stay in the hotels, dharamshala, or any such place. The hospital was to bear all the expenses. But now, citing the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry, the hospital has ordered the medical staff to vacate all quarantine rooms.
Opposing the LNJP Hospital’s decision, the Resident Doctors Association wrote a letter to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan stating that Coronavirus can show its effect anytime between two to 14 days. Non-symptomatic healthcare workers have been found to be coronavirus positive in many cases even after wearing PPE kits, he added.
"After duty, the staff should be quarantined and they should be tested for COVID-19 even if they do not show any symptom or wear PPE kits... It is important. Removing this system will increase the risk of the virus spreading to doctors, their families, patients, and the community. Therefore, amend the recently released guidelines and give relief to the corona warriors of the country," the letter further read.
As per the Centre's revised guidelines, only healthcare workers with high-risk contacts will be quarantined. This includes medical workers who have handled COVID-19 patients without proper PPE or who have symptoms.
Based on these guidelines, Delhi Health Secretary Padmini Singla also issued orders, following which, the Medical Director of LNJP Hospital asked all quarantined staff to vacate the rooms.
(With inputs from ANI)