Faced with staff shortage, AIIMS discontinues contact tracing of exposed healthcare workers

Those who are asymptomatic may join work 10 days from the date of the first positive test.
AIIMS
AIIMS Delhi

New Delhi, Apr 23 : The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here has decided to discontinue contact tracing of exposed healthcare workers and quarantine of asymptomatic contacts amid the current COVID-19 situation that has led to insufficient resources and shortage of staff.

Only symptomatic healthcare workers (HCWs) will be tested and only those testing positive will be isolated and managed as per the clinical condition.

The decisions were taken at a COVID-19 review meeting held under the chairmanship of AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Thursday.

“In view of the current situation of COVID-19 leading to insufficient resources for contact tracing, and shortage of staff, the risk assessment and contact tracing of exposed HCW and quarantine of asymptomatic contacts should be discontinued. Only symptomatic HCW should be tested and only those testing positive be isolated and managed as per the clinical condition,” the AIIMS said.

It has been further decided that asymptomatic healthcare workers may be able to join work after 10 days period from the onset of symptoms provided that they are afebrile for at least last 24 hours without the use of antipyretics and symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Those who are asymptomatic may join work 10 days from the date of the first positive test.

Amid an alarming rise in the number of COVID-19 patients at the premier facility, Dr Naveet Wig, the head of the department of medicine at AIIMS, who is also the chairperson of the COVID-19 Task Force, on Wednesday had requested all his colleagues from other departments to provide 80 per cent of residents and 80 per cent of faculty members for COVID-19 management.

Dr Wig had said that in view of an alarming rise in number of COVID-19 patients and the opening of multiple COVID-19 facilities in the hospital, the need of manpower has increased multi-fold.

“To meet this demand, as directed by the director, you are requested to provide 80 per cent of your residents and 80 per cent of your faculty members for COVID-19 management,” he had said.

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