Meghalaya government has appealed to all localities and Dorbar Shnongs not to prohibit health workers and those working at NEIGRIHMS in Shillong from returning home after duty.

Health Minister AL Hek told reporters on Monday that the state government and North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) discussed the problems faced by health workers and other frontline workers in view of COVID19.

The health minister informed about the initiatives taken by the Dorbar Shnong Mawdiangdiang and Dorbar Shnong Mawkasiang to welcome those who are working at the NEIGRIHMS.

Hek said the two Dorbar Shnongs are making arrangements to provide accommodation to the residents working at NEIGRIHMS to stay when they return from duty by not mixing with their family members and people in the village.

The health minister thanked the two Dorbar Shnongs for taking such a noble initiative and appealed to all other Dorbar Shnongs to follow this footstep.

Meanwhile, NEIGRIHMS has extended its quarantine facility to all health workers who are high risk contacts of COVID-19 patients.

“We cannot afford allowing a person (who is a high risk contact), to go to the community. They are properly checked (and tested) before sending them for home quarantine,” NEIGRIHMS director Dr P Bhattacharyya said.

He also said NEIGRIHMS has been following the health ministry’s guidelines on use of PPEs.

The director of health services (MI), Dr Aman War, said the issue was discussed thoroughly with the NEIGRIHMS authority as there has been a lot of resentment where some localities have asked people working in the institute not to enter their localities.

Dr War appealed to all not to harass the health workers, and said NEIGRIHMS is a responsible institute and when the institute sends the health workers home after duty, that means they are safe.

Dr War also said the institute is issuing certificates to such staff.

He once again appealed to all the Dorbar Shnongs including the house owners not to terrify people due to COVID-19 but to give respect to all health workers.

“We would like to appeal to all the villages and localiies especially house owners not to glorify COVID and terrify people with COVID. We should terrify COVID by showing big heart. We need to have a new thinking on this and first honour and give respect to all health workers,” said Dr War.

“If you have this kind of stigma against them, what will happen to the hospital which is not only handling COVID-19 cases, but other diseases as well,” Dr War said.

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