The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday ordered the federal government to ensure that the frontline health staff treating COVID-19 patients get their pending salaries. The court has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to direct the state governments to also comply with the orders.
Asking the federal government to file the report of payment within a month, the court also warned if the government doesn't comply, it would be taken seriously.
Keeping in view the increasing number of healthcare workers falling sick, the apex court also asked the Director of Health to ensure that doctors and health workers, even if they don't fall in the "high-risk exposure" category, get quarantine facilities.
The order comes after the court took into account the federal government's policy that provisioned quarantine only for healthcare workers falling in the "high-risk exposure" category.
Doctors and frontline healthcare workers in various states have warned of agitation or resignation due to the non-payment of salaries. A recent case involves Delhi hospitals run by the North Delhi Civic Corporation bodies, where over 300 healthcare workers have threatened to resign.
The same has also been witnessed in Mumbai where over 70 doctors in civic body-run hospitals have threatened a strike over the non-payment of salaries.
Meanwhile, doctors from one government-run hospital have also gone on strike demanding that their work hours in personal protective equipment be reduced and separate COVID-19 test counters be arranged for the hospital staff.