It is not easy for the medical fraternity engaged in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in Chandigarh to even travel to their workplaces, as has been evident with the kind of phone calls being received at the recently introduced helpline number for the safety of medical staff members.
A helpline number and DSP (security) Udaypal Singh was deputed as the nodal officer on April 29.
“A nurse living in Sector 30 EWS Colony, who was quarantined for a couple of days sought the assistance of nodal officer to get out of her house to join duty. A nurse living in Chandimandir area in Panchkula called him seeking his intervention, as local people were not allowing her to go to Chandigarh. The nodal officer contacted the Chandimandir police and apprised them about the nurse. Similar calls were received from nearby Naya Gaon. A few medical staff members were seeking information on how to travel to their native to meet their ailing parents,” said a police officer.
Though the UT administration has been providing residential accommodation to doctors and other medical staff engaged in the treatment of COVID-19 patients at GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and PGIMER at various places, these are not adequate to accommodate all staff members.
Sources said huge number of medical staff members especially ward boys, nurses live in Naya Gaon, Panchkula, and other parts of Mohali and travel to their workplaces. As the strictness increases, these members have been facing problems despite having been issued passes.
The nodal officer was deputed to deal with all complaints related to the safety of medical professionals in Chandigarh. His number is 9779580918. As per the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance No 5,
“A person who commits or abets the commission of an act of violence against healthcare service personnel (doctors, nurses, paramedical worker and community health workers) or abets or causes damage or loss to any property during an epidemic shall be punishable with imprisonment of not less than three months but which may extend to seven years. It is a non-bailable offence.”
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