State

H&FW directorate clarifies on advisory

Correspondent KOHIMA, APR 17 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/17/2020 11:38:38 AM IST

Following the uproar caused by its earlier advisory that barred hospital-based personnel from entering office premises and asked them to “leverage electronic means of communications including webinar”, health & family welfare (H&FW) directorate has now clarified that there was no restriction on them from visiting office premises for any work that required their physical attendance. 

Observing that there appeared to be misinterpretation of its earlier advisory issued on April 10, the directorate explained that the advisory was issued to minimise movement of personnel considering the lockdown and ensure that they were in their places of posting, unless there was some urgent requirement for them to be out. A phone call to the State control room officials should have been sufficient rather than wasting time on visiting, it stressed.

Asserting that health workers were the frontline people in the fight against any disease, including COVID-19 pandemic, the directorate said any oversight from it may kindly be pardoned. This was stated in a DIPR release. 

Health workers face ‘social ostracization’

H&FW department’s advisory restricting hospital-based staffs from visiting government offices had sparked fear and apprehension of discrimination and social ostracization among them, some of whom are now reportedly reluctant to work. 

The advisory had specified that no hospital-based personnel could enter any government premises and called for using digital means of communication.

Earlier, speaking to Nagaland Post, doctors of a hospital termed the order as “harsh, authoritative and discriminatory” in nature, adding it had led to division amongst the medical fraternity and lowered their morale.

One doctor alleged that following the government order, some hospital staffs were already facing social ostracization at places where they reside or any place they visited as though they were carriers of the virus. He rued that the government failed to see the social ramification of the order before issuing it.

He claimed that some health workers were now even reluctant to perform duties. 

Asking the logic of the order, another doctor remarked if the PPEs and other protective gears were not good enough then the government must supply better quality PPEs and protective gears so that all the health workers could be protected.

Mentioning that all doctors and health workers wore PPEs and other protective gears hoping that these would protect them and that they also followed the protocol by maintaining hygiene at home, he however commented that the order, which was widely publicised, made them feel discriminated from the society.

“If the health workers don’t feel safe, then how can the public feel safe? And by issuing the order and publicising it, the government was only creating fear psychosis among the citizens,” he added.

A senior health practitioner alleged that order had made many health workers difficult to even visit grocery shops, markets and banks as many suspected them to be virus carriers, adding that the government should have properly studied social ramifications of the order, before issuing it. 

He regretted that some people in certain towns had even started to pass “unpleasant comments” against the health workers like “Do not bring the virus”, adding it was humiliating to hear such comments when they were risking their lives for the citizens of the State.

Meanwhile, during an interaction with Nagaland Post, chief secretary Temjen Toy assured of reviewing the advisory with the department concerned.

 

-Tags:#H&FW

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