The Yogi Adityanath government, late on Saturday night, issued a curious order. The order bars Corona patients from keeping mobile phones inside isolation wards of COVID-19 hospitals in the state, on the plea that “mobile phones spread infection”. The order states: “Two mobile phones will be available with the isolation ward in-charge, so that patients can talk to their family members and administration, if need be.”
The controversial circular was, however, revoked on Sunday afternoon after it elicited much flak. In a fresh circular in the afternoon, the state government sought to “modify” its order and allowed patients to carry their phones in isolation wards, after making the disclosure to the officials concerned “The mobile phone and the charger will be thoroughly disinfected before the patient enters the ward. The patient will not be allowed to share the mobile phone with another patient. At the time of being discharged, the mobile phone and the charger will again be disinfected by the health workers,” the fresh order issued by medical education department states.
Over the last one month, several patients had shared videos of the isolation wards on social media and highlighted the pathetic condition at a few government hospitals. A PIL has been filed in the Allahabad High Court in this regard. Samajwadi Party President and Lok Sabha member Akhilesh Yadav had criticised the initial order. ‘‘If the ban on mobile phones could check coronavirus, then phones should be banned across the country. The phones had been banned so that patients were not able to inform their relatives and friends about the lack of facilities inside the Covid-19 wards,” he tweeted.
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