NEW DELHI: Amid reports that doctors in many states are not getting salaries on time, the Centre on Thursday warned that hospitals and institutions not releasing salaries of healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19 duty timely could get penalised under the Disaster Management Act.
The direction to the states came following an order by the Supreme Court. In a letter to all the state chief secretaries, Union health secretary Preeti Sudan said states and UTs should ensure that “salaries of doctors and health workers doing Covid-19 duty shall be released on time”.
“The chief secretary of the state/UT should ensure compliance of this order by all concerned, violation of which will be treated as an offence under the DM Act read with the Indian Penal Code and action taken accordingly against defaulting hospitals/institutions/ authorities,” the letter further said.
A copy of the letter was also marked to directors and medical superintendents of all central hospitals.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, meanwhile, launched the country’s first mobile lab in an attempt to promote last-mile Covid testing access in rural India.
The Infectious Disease Diag Lab (I-Lab) – Rapid Response Mobile Laboratory has been developed with support from the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ) under DBT-AMTZ COMManD (Covid Medtech Manufacturing Development) Consortia.
Developed in partnership with Transasia, a diagnostic firm, Scient Infra and Kalyani Cleantech, the I-lab has Bio-Safety Level-2 facility. It was built in eight days at a cost of around `1 crore.