Over 96 lakh healthcare workers out of the 1.05 crore registered with the government’s CoWIN portal have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus till December 17, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.In written response to a question in the Upper House of Parliament, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said states and union territories are expected to maintain details of the healthcare workers infected with the virus.
On the status of their vaccination, she said, “Till December 17, 2021, a total of 1,05,04,137 healthcare workers (HCWs) are registered on CoWIN portal, out of whom 1,03,85,958 have received the first dose of Covid vaccine and 96,29,532 have received both the doses.” Pawar said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken a number of steps to improve mental wellbeing of healthcare workers managing COVID-19.
These actions include according first priority to their vaccination, guidelines on infection prevention and control practices being shared with state governments to minimise the risk of their infection and advisory to consider quarantine period of healthcare workers as “on duty” and provision of accommodation facilities for their quarantine.States and union territories have been directed to ensure that salaries of doctors and healthcare workers during COVID-19-related duties are released on time, Pawar said.
Also, the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance was promulgated on April 22, 2020 and notified on September 29, which provides for safety and security of healthcare service personnel from acts of violence.Life insurance benefits are provided to them under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP).An Advisory for Human Resource Management of COVID-19 has been prepared providing guidance to states and UTs on the human resources that can be mobilized for COVID-19 management along with possible role assignments and their training requirements.
States have been advised to explore avenues for utilization of services of medical interns, final-year MBBS students, final-year PG students, senior residents/registrars, final-year GNM or B.Sc (Nursing) students and allied health care professionals in COVID-19 management duties under appropriate supervision to augment human resources.
According to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019, no person other than a person who is enrolled in the state or national register shall be allowed to practice medicine as a qualified medical practitioner, Pawar said.The central government has advised states and UTs that medical and nursing interns may also be engaged for COVID-19 management, if necessary. These interns, if engaged, are to work under the supervision of qualified medical practitioners, she added in the written reply.