The Centre on Monday asked states to ensure the movement of doctors and other medical workers is uninterrupted during the nationwide lockdown as it can affect COVID and non-COVID patients.
In a letter to chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said inter-state movement of doctors and paramedics “should be facilitated wherever required”.
“Any restrictions on the movement of medical professionals and para-medical staff can lead to severe constraints in rendering COVID and non-COVID medical services. I would urge all States and UTs to ensure that such clinics and nursing homes continue to function without any hindrances” his letter read.
“As such, ensuring unhindered movement of all such medical professionals is essential for meeting public health requirements and saving precious human lives,” the letter added.
His letter comes after reports of health care services being affected in some places, including in the national capital, after neighbouring states closed down inter-state borders and made travel passes compulsory.
The Home Secretary also noted that there have been several reports of private clinics and other medical services not being opened in many states. He added that the running of these medical services is very crucial for the country.
“States and UT governments should ensure that their field officials allow smooth movement of all medical professionals, nurses, para medical, sanitation personnel and ambulances. They should also ensure the opening of all private clinics, nursing homes and labs with all their medical professional and staff,” the letter added.
Referring to the meeting held by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Sunday, he said that the safety of medical professionals was discussed and added that the issue of restrictions being imposed by some States and UTs on the movement of medical professionals and para-medical personnel was flagged.
“As you are aware, the services of medical and para-medical staff are urgently required in meeting the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the existing staff, apart from this duty, also has to render normal responsibilities, such as conducting immunisation programmes, handling the onset of vector and other seasonal diseases, and meeting other non-COVID emergencies,” the letter added.
This is the last week of the nationwide lockdown, which was increased by further two weeks on May 3.
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