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The Union Health Ministry has asked all the states to treat the quarantine period of doctors and health workers as "on duty" amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal addressing the matter in a letter to all states and Union territories said that the quarantine period of the doctors and health workers for their duties pertaining to COVID-19 shall be treated as on duty.
In the letter to directors of all the AIIMS (All India Institute Of Medical Sciences) and directors and medical superintendents of Central government hospitals, Agarwal said that the matter was under consideration in the Supreme Court after instances of treating the quarantined doctors and health workers on leave were pointed out.
"The matter has since been considered by this Ministry in consultation with the Department of Personnel and Training and it has been decided that the quarantine period of doctors and health workers needs to be treated as on duty," he said.
The letter further said that those with a high-risk exposure to the virus while performing COVID-related duties will have to go under seven-day quarantine initially.
Subsequently, the institution concerned will take a decision on extending the quarantine period by one more week, the letter said.
"This quarantine has been prescribed in the larger public interest to stop the spread of the disease," the letter added.
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