Delhi govt stuns Covid-infected medics with showcause

New Delhi: Hours after demanding written explanations from Covid-19 positive doctors working in non-Covid hospitals as to how they got infected despite wearing protective gear and maintaining safe distance, the Delhi government withdrew its notice, following an uproar on social media and protests from associations representing doctors and nurses.

The order has now been kept in abeyance.

According to the order dated May 1, signed by the state health and family welfare secretary Padmini Singla, a lot of doctors and healthcare workers were getting infected or reported as ‘contact to infected person’, causing shortage in hospitals.

“This practice is causing unnecessary shortage of doctors and staff at the hospitals,” said the order.

The Delhi government order went on to say that this could be happening as either hospitals were not following standard operating procedures (SOPs), or such persons were not following guidelines prescribed for healthcare workers.

Delhi Govt Stuns Covid-Infected Medics With Showcause

Hence, medical directors were directed to obtain “written explanation” from infected healthcare workers explaining how they “got infected or become a contact in spite of wearing required protective gears, maintaining safe distance and following precautions prescribed for healthcare workers.”

Not surprisingly, the order was slammed by representative bodies of healthcare professionals.

Harjit Singh Bhatti, national president, Progressive Medicos & Scientists Forum, demanded that the order be withdrawn. “This is getting worse everyday, first gagged for demanding PPEs and now questioned for getting infected,” he tweeted.

More than 400 healthcare workers have been placed under quarantine while over 50 workers have tested positive in Delhi.

‘Unfair to Blame Healthcare Workers’

“It is unfair to put the onus on healthcare workers to explain how they became infected. Instead of blaming the healthcare workers the government needs to set up an oversight mechanism to ensure that the management of hospitals are adhering to protocols to protect healthcare workers,” said an office bearer of united nurses association, on the condition of anonymity.

By late evening, the Delhi government had changed its mind and Singla issued a new order keeping the old one in ‘abeyance till further orders’.

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