Reduce isolation period for healthcare workers to five days: TAC

The recommendation comes in the wake of shortage of staff in hospitals

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has recommended that the isolation period for doctors and other healthcare professionals who are asymptomatic and have tested positive for COVID-19 should be reduced to five days. The move comes after a shortage of staff in hospitals was noted. The committee had its meeting on Sunday. “The employers must provide COVID care facilities at hotels if healthcare workers test positive. After the isolation period, they can resume duty without undergoing a COVID test,” a source said.

The source added that all healthcare workers had completed their two doses of vaccination.

The recommendation was mooted as it has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Government is expecting a spike in cases due to the increase in the number of cases of the Omicron variant. Apart from healthcare workers, the isolation period for administrative staff involved in COVID duty who are positive but asymptomatic is also recommended to be five days. Symptomatic healthcare workers and administrative staff however will have a longer isolation period. However, this recommendation will have to be approved by the Department of Health and Family Welfare. The doctor of a private hospital said that even if the TAC’s recommendations are approved, they are unlikely to reduce the isolation period to five days as the staff needs rest. The committee has also recommended that a designated maternity and pediatric hospital having Intensive Care Unit facilities should be set up.

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