NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday clarified that quarantine period of doctors and healthcare workers (HCWs) will be treated as on duty and not on leave.
In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, the Union Ministry of Health submitted that it had issued a directive in this context to all states on August 6 and clarified that quarantine period needs to be treated as on duty.
The step came in response to the top court’s July 31 order, asking for clarification on the issue after an application filed by the United Resident Doctors Association (URDA) said several states were treating quarantine period as casual leave and deducting salaries, too.
A bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan had told the central government to respond to URDA’s application, which also said that salaries of doctors were being deducted for their compulsory quarantine period.
On the aspect of paying salaries, the government wrote to five states — Maharashtra, Delhi, Tripura, Karnataka and Punjab on August 1 — asking them to ensure there was no delay in releasing salaries of HCWs and sought a compliance report.
According to the reports sent by five states, which were defaulters earlier, submitted that the pending salaries have been paid.
However, in Delhi, doctors working at a polyclinic under the North Municipal Corporation of Delhi have not been paid salaries.
Punjab has told the court that they have cleared all the dues for June and salary bills for July have been submitted to the state treasury.
Similarly, Karnataka has taken steps to release stipends for interns and junior doctors of two colleges JMM College in Davangere and Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore between April and June.
Tripura said it has cleared all the pending dues and salaries are now being paid on time.
The court has slated the detailed hearing for next week.