NEW DELHI: The Delhi government issued an order directing hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries, Mohalla Clinics and COVID Care Centres to follow the central government’s instruction on use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“All hospitals should identify a separate triage and holding area for patients with Influenza-like illness so that suspect Covid-19 cases are triaged and managed away from the main out-patient department. Rational use of PPE for Non-Covid hospitals and Non-Covid treatment areas of a hospital which has a Covid block,” stated the order.
The order dated May 16, has laid down the breakup on use of PPE and safety kits amongst the health care workers (HCW) based on their activities and exposure to the coronavirus. While low risk and mild risk HCWs are to be provided with a triple layer mask and latex examination gloves, for moderate risk category N95 masks, goggles, latex examination gloves and face shields are to be provided.
“Majority of Covid cases have emerged from non-designated hospitals. In such circumstances asking for rationale use of PPE kits is not a welcome decision,” said a RDA member from a designated Covid hospital.
Taking note of the order, the Federation of Resident Doctors Association has written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan regarding quarantine guidelines for doctors and other healthcare workers on COVID duty in hospitals, issued by the Health Ministry (MoHFW). The association urged the Minister for amendment in guidelines and arrangement of adequate testing for doctors on Covid duty.
“Risk of exposure among health care workers is high. Since the virus has an incubation period of 14 days and many asymptomatic patients are testing positive, quarantine along with adequate testing is essential for doctors on Covid duty. The virus has high infectivity and an infected doctor might put his or her close contacts like family members and colleagues at risk,” said Dr Shivaji Dev Barman, FORDA President.