The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi on Friday evening withdrew an order asking medical directors to seek an explanation from all doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medical staff working in hospitals not designated for coronavirus treatment, as to how they were getting infected despite wearing protective gear and following other precautions, The Indian Express reported. It expressed apprehension that safety guidelines were not being followed.
The order said that it had come to the notice of the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Delhi government that many medical personnel working in non-Covid-19 hospitals were being infected. It also said that medical directors had been indiscriminately sending such staff into quarantine, thus causing a shortage.
“It seems, it is happening because either hospitals are not following standard SOPs [sic] or such persons are not following guidelines prescribed for health care workers,” the department’s secretary, Padmini Singla, said in the order. The order was marked to all heads of departments in the Delhi government, apart from medical directors.
It is not yet known why the Delhi government revoked the order.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had on April 28 expressed concern about the situation, in a video conference with Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and other officials, The Print reported. He pointed out that 4.11% of the healthcare workers in the national capital were infected. The figures were 13 paramedics, 26 nurses, 24 field workers and 33 doctors, Vardhan said.
Delhi had by Friday evening reported 3,515 cases of Covid-19, including 59 deaths, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Earlier in the day, the Centre extended the nationwide lockdown, which started on March 25, to May 17.