The Health Department of the Bihar government on Wednesday cancelled all kinds of leaves (except maternity leave and study leave) of all medical officers, nurses, paramedics and grade 4 staff till May 31. The decision has been taken in light of the necessity to monitor and maintain alertness in order to contain COVID-19.
The decision was taken after the State Health Society found that 362 doctors in 37 districts were absent from their duty in hospitals in this critical time of Coronavirus. "After timely monitoring of health officers' presence in the hospital by the State Health Society, it was found that except Katihar, 362 doctors in 37 districts were absent from their duty following which the State Health Society has sought action against all the health officers under Disaster Management Act 2005 and Epidemic Disease Act 1897 for their negligence," added the statement.
Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday reached out to MLAs from various political parties, seeking their cooperation in his government's efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and assuring them that their feedback and suggestions would be acted upon by the officials concerned.
The Chief Minister interacted with the legislators at a meeting held via video conferencing which was attended, among others, by his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi, cabinet colleagues Prem Kumar, Vijendra Prasad Yadav and Mangal Pandey besides assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary.
Those from the opposition camp included RJD leaders Tejashwi Yadav and Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi (Hindustani Awam Morcha). He has even invited Tejashwi to accompany him for Covid surveys, amid the latter's attacks.
Seven persons, including four minors, tested positive for COVID 19 on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases in Bihar to 535, a top official said. Of the seven cases, five were male and two female. Five of them hail from Katihar district and one each from Kaimur and Siwan, Health Departments Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar said.
COVID-19 cases have been detected in the state's 32 of total 38 districts. Munger is the worst affected district with 102 cases. Four people have died of COVID-19 so far and there 400 active cases at present.
(With agency inputs)