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Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Govt depts ask recovered staff to furnish -ve test report in Patiala

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 17

Many government departments are reportedly violating the instructions of the Health Department by not letting those recovered from Covid to join their duties without a test report.

However, a Covid test is not required after a patient has been in isolation for 17 days, according to the Health Department.

Moreover, there is no need to waste money on a Covid test again once the quarantine period is over, say experts.

Several departments are reportedly directing their employees, who have already recovered from the virus, to get a negative test report before joining.

An officer of the Excise Department, who had completed 17 days in home isolation, said: "The department did not allow me to join my duty despite having completed the 17-day isolation period and having a fitness certificate. They asked me to get a Covid test report before joining the department."

Another official with the district administration said: "I had to get myself tested again before I could join work."

A medical officer of the Patiala Health Department said: "Everyday, one or two government officials are requesting us to test them again before joining their respective departments."

The health experts said the Health Department had revised the policy only after various studies concluded that patients become non-infectious after 10 or 11 days, therefore, Covid test is not required after completion of 17 days in isolation.

Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Harish Malhotra said: "There have been cases where different government departments had asked employees to get a retest done. However, we remind them about the government orders that a test is not required after 17 days in isolation."

When asked about the reason for a retest, Malhotra replied: "It must be the fear of Covid that has been prompting the department to issue such directions to their employees."

from The Tribune

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