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Staff crisis in Hosps, state plans 5-day isolation for health workers | Calcutta News

KOLKATA: Several cases of clustered Covid infections among doctors and other health workers in Bengal hospitals – particularly in Calcutta – have threatened to bring health services to their knees, prompting the state government to consider shortening the mandatory isolation period for infected healthcare workers from 10 days to five, so they can return to work as soon as possible.
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Even though most of the infected health workers (doctors, nurses and support staff) for the most part do not need to be hospitalized this time around, state health officials fear a shortage of manpower. while infected health workers are isolated. The health ministry has even asked hospitals to consider cutting back on planned surgeries in case they run into manpower issues due to a cluster infection.

Individual hospitals and the health system as a whole are under immense pressure because of this. Things can get worse before they get better. Prioritizing non-urgent procedures becomes all the more important in such a scenario.

According to the current protocol, an infected person who does not require institutional care should self-isolate for 10 days even if they are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and have an RT-PCR test on day 10. The person is considered “recovered” and “safe” if this gives a negative result; otherwise, the person is considered safe after a subsequent RT-PCR test.

It is this 10-day isolation period that the state government plans to reduce to five, in consultation with experts from the Union’s health ministry.
In the United States – where the growth of Covid cases has shown an almost vertical increase in recent days – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national public health agency, has recommended shortening the period of five-day isolation for those who do not need hospital care, followed by five days of strict masking around others.

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