The prevention of any infection, including the coronavirus, is the responsibility of healthcare workers and hospitals, the Center told the Supreme Court today amid an increase in infection among healthcare workers across the country. The court requested the government’s response to a petition seeking the provision of alternative accommodation for health workers in light of the growing number of coronavirus cases among them.
Insisting that all protocols are already in place and that state governments are following them, the Center said that health workers are wearing the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment, a key safety measure) and that they are adequately protected against any possible exposure. The situation, the government said, does not carry additional risks for their families and children, he said.
In the affidavit, the Center also said that the Hospital’s Infection Control Committees are responsible for implementing infection prevention and control activities for health workers.
“The ultimate responsibility lies with healthcare workers to prevent infection and protect themselves. This is true not only for COVID but also for the number of other infectious diseases that a healthcare worker has the potential to expose himself to. as part of his / her duty, “said the affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court.
The Center’s claim comes amid a huge increase in coronavirus cases at Delhi’s first Indian Institute of Medical Sciences. Sources said more than 480 health workers at the centrally managed medical institute have tested positive for coronavirus. The figure includes 19 doctors and 38 nurses. Among the infected doctors, two are members of the faculty and the rest are residents. Three of the patients have died.
Resident doctors and nurses at the hospital have been pointing to PPE kits for a while, saying their quality isn’t up to par. Similar complaints have come from other hospitals.
PPE is currently purchased by the Hindustan Levers Limited Center, a public sector utility under the Ministry of Health. The kits are distributed to government-run hospitals, the sources said.
In March, when there was a severe shortage of EPP, Hindustan Levers became the nodal acquisition agency. At that time, the company acquired it from national and foreign sources and distributed it to the states.
Now, as many indigenous PPE producers have entered the market, state governments are acquiring them directly from government-authorized producers, the sources said.