On May 15, the Union ministry revised guidelines for the 14-quarantine for doctors who have completed their COVID-19 duty. After this announcement by the Centre, the Karnataka and Delhi governments followed suit.
The Centre’s revised guidelines said that staff will go into quarantine only if they have had “high-risk exposure” while dealing with COVID-19 patients or handling samples without personal protective equipment kits. Regular quarantine of healthcare workers after performing duty in COVID-19 areas is not warranted, the order said.
Healthcare workers have raised objections to the new guidelines. The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) has written to Union health minister Harsh Vardhan to revoke the order.
According to a report in the Indian Express, on May 18, resident doctors of RML Hospital staying in hotels during their quarantine period were asked to vacate their rooms immediately, failing which their salaries would be deducted for overstaying. The order was issued by the hospital; however, no such directives have been sent by the Central ministry.
Before the Central government’s order, doctors were sent for two-week quarantine at hotels arranged by the Delhi government after COVID-19 duty lasting two weeks.