Centre asks States, UTs to allow hospitalised COVID patients to use smartphones

The Central Government has written to all states and Union Territories asking that smartphones and tablet devices should be allowed for hospitalised COVID-19 patients so that they can interact with family and friends through video conferencing.

This is expected to provide the patients psychological support. Though mobile phones are allowed in hospital wards, the letter was issued following some representation from the kin of patients alleging that mobile phones are not being allowed by the hospital administrations.

In the letter 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 said, appropriate protocols for disinfecting devices and allocating timeslots can be developed by the hospital concerned to facilitate contact between patients and their family.

He stressed that administrative and medical teams should be responsive to the psychological needs of patients admitted in COVID-19 wards and ICUs.