A month after the Delhi government announced it would provide accommodation to healthcare workers deployed at Covid-19 hospitals in hotels and dharamshalas, staff at Lok Nayak Hospital have been asked to vacate the premises by Thursday afternoon. An order issued by the hospital’s medical director said staff will have to foot the bill themselves if they overstay.
“All categories of staff on quarantine (are) directed to vacate the hospital provided accommodation in hotels/ dharamshala latest by 12 noon on Thursday. The hospital will not bear any extra charges accrued thereafter and the same shall be borne by guests overstaying,” the order issued on Wednesday states.
While doctors from the hospital were staying at The Lalit hotel, other staff members had been put up in dharamshalas. They would stay there during the two-week quarantine period after Covid duty, essentially to ensure their families are not exposed. The two-week quarantine has now been done away with by the Delhi government, and only healthcare workers who have “high-risk” exposure will be quarantined. This is in line with the updated guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of the hospital, said: “They have two accommodations — one is hostel and the other is the hotel, and they have not vacated either one of them. If they want to continue staying in the hotel, they will have to give up the hostel facility. We will give them an option and they can continue their quarantine either at home or can join work if they want to.”
According to sources, around 80-100 doctors from Lok Nayak are in quarantine at present and the latest order has left many in the lurch. For instance, a 32-year-old senior resident doctor from the hospital, who was posted in the ICU ward, is now planning to shift to another hotel and bear the cost.
“I have a small kid at my house and I can’t risk the lives of my family members. I have worked in the ICU ward where many Covid positive patients are admitted. Rather than going home, many of us are planning to rent a room or stay in hotels,” the doctor said, requesting anonymity.
Resident doctors said they plan to seek an extension for vacating the hotel. “We will meet the medical director on Thursday and request him to give an extension for a few more days so that the doctors can come to a decision,” said Dr Parv Mittal, president of Resident Doctors’ Association of Maulana Azad Medical College.
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