Patiala officials in self-isolation, dept ‘unaware’

Patiala officials in self-isolation, dept ‘unaware’

Karam Prakash
Tribune News Service
Patiala, July 13

Without keeping the Health Department in the loop, a few government officials are going into 14-day self-quarantine on their own .

There is a district quarantine committee that recommends isolation after assessing the exposure of suspected officials. However, ignoring the protocol, many officials, including judges and district education officers (DEOs), have already gone into 14-day self-quarantine.

In one such instance, without the recommendation of the Health Department, the entire staff of the DEO office went into self-quarantine after the Deputy DEO tested positive. However, Harinder Kaur, DEO, said they had taken permission from the Education Secretary for self-quarantine.

“We went into self-quarantine because our Deputy DEO tested positive. We had informed the Education Secretary. Moreover, we worked from home,” she said.

Similarly, two judges also underwent 14-day self-quarantine after two undertrials, who were produced in their court for remand, tested positive, which the Health Department said they were not aware of. An Executive Officer (EO) in Patiala also underwent self-quarantine for seven days after a peon in his office tested positive for the Covid-19.

“I was directed by the SMO for quarantine, as a peon, who tested positive, was working in my office. I joined the office three days after I tested negative,” the EO said.

It has been learnt that a few Municipal Corporation and PCS officials also went into self-quarantine after a Naib Tehsildar tested positive.

A health official said, “If every government employee undergoes self-quarantine on his own, what are we here for? There is a team of health officials which will analyse the extent of exposure with positive patient and then recommend quarantine.”

Dr Avneet Kaur, Director, Health and Family Welfare, said, “Only the Health Department, after assessing the exposure to the virus, will recommend quarantine for government employees. I will look into the matter.”

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