New Delhi: The health ministry has asked all the states to treat the quarantine period of doctors and health workers as “on duty” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter to the chief secretaries of the states and Union territories, directors of all the AIIMS and directors and medical superintendents of Central government hospitals dated August 6, joint secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal said the quarantine period of doctors and health workers for their duties related to COVID-19 shall be treated as “on duty”.
The matter was under consideration since it was pointed out in the Supreme Court that in some cases, doctors and health workers, who are quarantined, are being treated as on leave, Agarwal said.
“The matter has since been considered by this ministry in consultation with the department of personnel and training and it has been decided that the quarantine period of doctors and health workers needs to be treated as on duty,” he said.
Those with a high-risk exposure to the virus while performing COVID-related duties are required to undergo quarantine for a week initially. Thereafter, a decision shall be taken by the institution concerned on extending the quarantine period by one more week, the letter said.
“This quarantine has been prescribed in larger public interest to stop the spread of the disease,”it added.
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