A day after resident doctors at the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) boycotted services requiring a week of quarantine after a week of work to be restored, institute officials said on Sunday that the quarantine leave did not was not advised by the Indian government.
TIMS director Dr Vimala Thomas said the leave was granted earlier, during the lockdown. However, with the unlocking leading to a new normal, the leave provision was removed as it was not advised. About 120 senior resident doctors boycotted duties as of Saturday. They said that despite maintaining precautions such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and a week in quarantine, around 10 of them and their family members contracted the infection. Senior resident doctors at King Koti District Hospital are also waiting to see whether leave will be interrupted there as well. Only COVID-19 patients are admitted to the two health facilities.
Citing a notice released by the Department of Health and Family Welfare on June 18, 2020, Dr Vimala Thomas said quarantine leave was not advised. As part of the “SOP to Follow in Case a Healthcare Worker Reports PPE Exposure or Violation,” a procedure for identifying healthcare workers (HCWs) who are at high or low risk. It details in more detail who should be allowed to enter quarantine and the period of time.
“In TIMS, all precautions to prevent infection among health workers have been taken. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, N-95 masks, surgical gloves and disinfectant are provided to all COVID staff. TIMS has a Hospital Infection Control Committee (HICC) which is responsible for the implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC) activities and regularly conducts IPC trainings for healthcare workers, ”said said the director.