Tamil Nadu

FOGDA suggests 14-day intense lockdown, lowering age restrictions for vaccine

Health workers wearing protective gear ( PPE kit ) dump waste collected from COVID-19 wards into a temporary shed at the Railway hospital, ICF in Chennai on April 15, 2021.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Noting that the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases could cause a huge burden on the healthcare workers, the Federation of Government Doctors Association (FOGDA) has suggested an intense lockdown for 14 days starting from April 18 to slow down transmission and give a breathing space for preparedness.

In a representation to the Health Secretary, FOGDA has put forward suggestions to tackle the present crisis as the daily COVID-19 cases were steeply increasing in the State. Such a sudden surge could make it difficult for the health infrastructure, and causes a huge burden on healthcare workers who are required to be deployed to treat patients with COVID-19 as well as take effective preventive measures. Workforce has to be deployed for the vaccination drive too, it noted.

FOGDA suggested an intense lockdown for 14 days from April 18, giving a short leeway of three to four days for the public to make appropriate arrangements to cope during this lockdown period. This would help in overcoming the present crisis. The lockdown, as already experienced, would help in slowing down new cases of COVID-19 as well as provide a breathing space for the logistics preparedness, the association said.

The association has requested the government to consider lowering the age restrictions for COVID-19 vaccinations from 45 years to 18 years so that there could be larger coverage, and also because more younger patients were suffering from severe COVID-19 now when compared to last year.

It demanded the government recruit 2,000 new doctors and nurses to manage both COVID-19 and non COVID-19 diseases so that inconvenience to the public could be avoided. To encourage the healthcare workers, who were already fatigued, the government could release the promised COVID-19 related benefits such as one month special pay, Rs. two lakh ex-gratia for those who tested positive for COVID-19 and Rs. 50 lakh solatium for the families of the deceased healthcare workers. They also demanded implementing the long-pending contributory doctors corpus fund Government Order immediately, the letter said.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 7:29:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fogda-suggests-14-day-intense-lockdown-lowering-age-restrictions-for-vaccine/article34333152.ece

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