COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

The health care personnel working in hospitals are at increased risk of acquiring the COVID-19 disease, if there is a breach in the personal protection while managing patients. The health-work force is a valuable and scarce resource. Large number of COVID-19 affected health personnel getting isolated for treatment and their close contacts undergoing quarantine affects the health/ hospital service delivery.

Institutional Mechanism for preventing and responding to Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) among HCWs

Hospitals shall activate its Hospital Infection Control Committee (HICC).The HICC in the health facility is responsible for implementing the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) activities and organizing regular trainings on IPC for HCWs.

A Nodal Officer (Infection Control Officer) shall be identified by each hospital to address all matters related to Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs). With reference to preventing such infection among healthcare workers, he/she will ensure that:

i. Healthcare workers in different settings of hospitals shall use PPEs appropriate to their risk profile as detailed in the guidelines issued by this Ministry (available at: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/GuidelinesonrationaluseofPersonalProtectiveEquipment.pdf and https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/UpdatedAdditionalguidelinesonrationaluseofPersonalProtectiveE quipmentsettingapproachforHealthfunctionariesworkinginnonCOVID19areas.pdf )

ii. All healthcare workers have undergone training on Infection Prevention and Control and they are aware of common signs and symptoms, need for self-health monitoring and need for prompt reporting of such symptoms.

iii. Provisions have been made for regular (thermal) screening of all hospital staff.

iv. All healthcare workers managing COVID-19 cases are being provided with chemo-prophylaxis under medical supervision.

v. Provisions have been made for prompt reporting of breach of PPE by the hospital staff and follow up action.

Action for Healthcare Workers

i. Ensure that all preventive measures like frequent washing of hands/use of alcohol based hand sanitizer, respiratory etiquettes (using tissue/handkerchief while coughing or sneezing), etc. are followed at all times.

ii. He/she shall use appropriate PPE at all times while on duty.

iii. A buddy system* to be followed to ensure that there is no breach in infection prevention control practices.

iv. Any breach in PPE and exposure is immediately informed to the nodal officer/HoD of the department

v. HCWs after leaving the patient care units (wards/OPDs/ICUs) at the doctor’s duty rooms/hostels/canteen or outside the HCF must follow social distancing and masking to prevent transmission to/acquiring infection from other HCWs who may be positive.

vi. Pregnant/lactating mothers and immuno – compromised healthcare workers shall inform their medical condition to the hospital authorities for them to get posted only in non-Covid areas.

*Buddy system: Under this approach, two or more-person team is formed amongst the deployed hospital staff who share responsibilities for his/her partner’s safety and well-being in the context of (i) Appropriately donning and doffing of PPEs, (ii) maintaining hand hygiene and (iii) taking requisite steps on observing breach of PPEs.

SOP for health work force deployment during COVID-19

SOP to be followed in case HCW reports exposure/breach of PPE

All the Healthcare workers must report every exposure to COVID-19 to the concerned nodal officer and HoD of the concerned department immediately.

The Nodal officer will get the exact details of exposure to ascertain whether the exposure constitutes a high risk or low risk exposure.

To read more details on the above, please follow the link below:

ADVISORY


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Advisory dt. 18-06-2020

COVID 19Hot Off The PressLegislation UpdatesNotifications

UPDATE

Order regarding shortage of staff in the non-COVID hospitals due to infection of Doctors and Staff, is kept in abeyance till further orders.


Earlier Order

It is reported that many doctors, nurses, paramedics and other staff in non- COVID hospitals are either getting infected or reported as contact to infected person and Medical Directors of respective hospitals are indiscriminately sending them in quarantine either at hotels or their homes for 14 days. This practice is causing unnecessary shortage of doctor & staff at the Hospitals. It seems, it is happening because either hospitals are not following standard SOPs or such persons are not following guidelines prescribed tor health care workers.

Thus, All Medical Directors are directed to obtain written explanation from an such person as how these persons got infected or become a contact in spite of wearing required protective gears, maintaining safe distance and following precautions prescribed for health care workers.

Further, Medical Director is required to constitute a team of Doctors to ascertain whether a contact, fulfils the Govt. of India guidelines to be declared as the contact of positive patient.

To access the official Orders, please click on the link below:

Order 1

Order 2


Government of NCT of Delhi

[Order dt. 01-05-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Additional guidelines on rational use of Personal Protective Equipment (setting approach for Health functionaries working in non-COVID areas)

This guideline is for health care workers and others working in Non COVID hospitals and Non-COVID treatment areas of a hospital which has a COVID block. These guidelines are in continuation of guidelines issued previously on ‘Rational use of Personal Protective Equipment’ (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/GuidelinesonrationaluseofPersonalProtectiveEquipment.pdf). This guideline uses “settings” approach to guide on the type of personal protective equipment to be used in different settings.

Rational use of PPE for Non COVID hospitals and Non-COVID treatment areas of a hospital which has a COVID block.

The PPEs are to be used based on the risk profile of the health care worker. The document describes the PPEs to be used in different settings.

To access the detailed notification, please click the following link:

NOTIFICATION


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

[Dated: 01-05-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Addressing Social Stigma Associated with COVID-19

Public health emergencies during outbreak of communicable diseases may cause fear and anxiety leading to prejudices against people and communities, social isolation and stigma. Such behavior may culminate into increased hostility, chaos and unnecessary social disruptions.

Cases have been reported of people affected with COVID-19 as well as healthcare workers, sanitary workers and police, who are in the frontline for management of the outbreak, facing discrimination on account of heightened fear and misinformation about infection.

Even those who have recovered from COVID-19 face such discrimination. Further, certain communities and areas are being labeled purely based on false reports floating in social media and elsewhere.

There is an urgent need to counter such prejudices and to rise as a community that is empowered with health literacy and responds appropriately in the face of this adversity.

In this regard, all responsible citizens are advised to understand that:

  • Although COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease which spreads fast and can infect any one of us, we can protect ourselves through social distancing, washing our hands regularly and following sneezing / coughing etiquettes.
  • Despite all precautions, if anybody catches the infection, it is not their fault. In situation of distress, the patient and the family need support and cooperation. It must be noted that the condition is curable and most people recover from it.
  • Healthcare workers including doctors, nurses, and allied & healthcare professionals are rendering their services tirelessly to provide care and medical / clinical support in this situation of crisis. Sanitary workers and police are also doing selfless service and playing critical roles in addressing the challenge of COVID-19. They all deserve our support, praise and appreciation.
  • All those directly involved in the management of COVID-19 are equipped with appropriate protective equipment to keep them safe from the infection.
  • Targeting essential services providers and their families will weaken our fight against COVID-19 and can prove grievously detrimental for the entire nation.

Link for the Advisory:

ADVISORY


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare