ALLOW hospitalised COVID-19 patients to use smartphones, tablets, GOI asks states, UTs

ON receipt of complaints that COVID patients are not permitted to use smartphones and tablets during hospitalization, the Federal  Government has directed all states and Union Territories not to deny hospitalised COVID-19 patients the devices. These help them interact with families and friends through video conferencing, says the Union Ministry for Health & Family Welfare headed by Dr Harsh Vardhan in the directive to states and UTs. The devices are expected to provide patients with psychological support. Though mobile phones are allowed in hospital wards, the letter was issued following representation from the kin of patients alleging that mobile phones are not being allowed by the hospital administrations. In the latter addressed to the Principal Secretaries of Health and Medical Education of States and UTs, Director General of Health Services in the Health Ministry, Dr Rajiv Garg, has said, appropriate protocols for disinfecting devices and allocating time slots can be developed by the hospital concerned to facilitate contact between patients and their families. Administrative and medical teams should be responsive to the psychological needs of patients admitted in COVID-19 wards and ICUs, Dr Garg added. Photo courtesy to Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

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