COVID-19: MHA issues latest guidelines to states, UTs; check details

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Updated: May 11, 2020 2:15 PM

The third phase of the lockdown which was announced on March 24 by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to end on May 17.

The fresh set of advisory from the MHA has come at a time when there have been numerous reports of health care services being harassed.

COVID-19: Allow movements of medical staff, open private clinics, and labs at full potential, these are MHA’s latest guidelines to states! Getting access to medical staff or even private clinics and labs has not been easy, particularly in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown. For the common man, this spells some relief as it means that the services of both medical as well as paramedical staff will soon be made accessible in hospitals, private clinics, and labs. In order to prevent the collapse of health services in the country, the Union Home Ministry has asked the states to allow the movement of medical and paramedical staff as they come under the jurisdiction of essential services, reported the news agency PTI. The MHA has opposed the restrictions imposed by some States/ UTs on the movement of doctors, paramedics. The MHA has said that restrictions on the movement of medical professionals can lead to severe constraints in rendering COVID, non-COVID services, the report further said.

This also implies that gradually it will be possible to resume normal hospital services and immunisation procedures such as vaccinations. Earlier, these were a part of normal hospital routine and now with the latest guidelines, it can be expected that these are set to be resumed as part of non-COVID medical procedures that used to be routinely conducted.

The fresh set of advisory from the MHA has come at a time when there have been numerous reports of health care services being harassed on their way to the place of work. These incidents in some places including in the national capital post the sealing off of interstate borders in neighboring may have prompted the home ministry to come up with this guideline.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written a letter to states’ and union territories’ chief secretaries and has asked to facilitate doctors and paramedics whenever required in inter-state movement, added the PTI report. Bhalla has said that the unhindered movement of medical staff is essential in dealing with public health requirements and saving precious lives.

Home secretary also took cognisance of the many private clinics and nursing homes not being allowed to open at several places and asked states to ensure opening of them with full staff capacity, the report said further.

Home secretary Bhalla has referred to a meeting held by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on May 10 where he had raised the issue restrictions imposed by some states and UTs on the movement of medical professionals and para-medical personnel.

The third phase of the lockdown which was announced on March 24 by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to end on May 17. As the number of cases is surging across the country and the rate of doubling of cases has reduced to 10 which for once had improved to 12, the union government has its task cut out to decide the fate of the ongoing lockdown.

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