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GUWAHATI: The Assam branch of the Indian Medical Association has expressed reservations against the state government’s “policy changes” in regard to handling the COVID-19 situation.
In a letter to state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday, the association claimed that “the successful Assam model would collapse in no time if the government took closed door and whimsical decisions instead of taking experienced healthcare professionals and groups into confidence while planning to face challenges against COVID-19.”
The association also demanded a review by the government in regard to the “large number of health workers and doctors affected by the disease while working with the disease.”
“IMA strongly protests the government’s order of engaging health workers and doctors in 11 days’ continuous service in the COVID wards and thereafter only three days of quarantine before re-engaging them in COVID duty,” the letter to the health minister read.
The association further asked the government to adhere to the suggestion of Indian Council of Medical Research to allow home treatment for mild and symptomatic COVID-19 patients as “it is not possible with limited resources and facilities to treat large number of cases.”
Besides, it pointed out that increasing hospital beds without manpower planning would be a futile exercise because of limited resources in terms of doctors and health workers.
“Moreover, IMA strongly protests the government’s decision to switch over to antigen tests for checking health workers engaged in COVID duty as the ICMR has already mentioned that this test is less sensitive and a negative test does not rule out COVID. Besides the confirmation of the negative status by a PCR test is also required,” the letter read.