The IMA on Tuesday slammed the decision by the AIIMS here to discontinue contact tracing of exposed health care workers and quarantine of asymptomatic contacts, saying they can spread coronavirus infection to many while providing treatment.
In a letter to the Union Health Secretary, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said the order stating that if the HCW is symptomatic will be tested and if positive only 10 days quarantine is permitted is an absolute infringement on the basic right of the HCW as a citizen to get minimum care and support and sought that the order is revoked.
The MoHFW guidelines mandate minimum 17 days quarantine and rest after symptomatic cold, it said.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi issued an order recently discontinuing contact tracing of exposed healthcare workers and quarantine of asymptomatic contacts amid the current COVID1-19 situation citing insufficient resources and shortage of staff.
"When the HCW is exposed to COVID positive patient and get asymptomatic COVID he is still a carrier and can spread the infection to many in the pretext of executing treatment to poor patients.
Not testing their disease status at the pretext of shortage of staff is lethal to fraternity and community," the doctors' body said.
Citing the AllMS order, various other hospitals are also following this now, the IMA said, "If you tax and over stretch the existing staff, we will land up in acute crisis."
"IMA is looking forward to having your compassionate empathy towards the working HCW in the AIIMS and other health care institutions and revoke this order to provide early testing, comprehensive assured treatment opportunity for healthcare workers by allotting separate dedicated beds for them and handle with empathy towards HCW, suffering from the COVID disease," the body said.
The IMA further drew attention to the impending manpower shortage and sought that the NEET PG and INCET PG exams be conducted on a war footing so that postgraduates and junior doctors can join the service.
A total of 1.78 lakh doctors are waiting for the exams, and till the exams are over they will not join the service, it said in the letter.