With many organisations, healthcare centres and other agencies demanding for a COVID-19 negative certificate to ensure the safety of their premises, the demand for such a certificate has soared as the pandemic continues to spread.
Chennai: However, the public is confused as the State Health Department issues no such certificate and COVID-19 tests cannot be taken without a doctor’s prescription. “When a person gets admitted for surgery we will take COVID test in a private lab. They will send the result to the hospital management and the Corporation. We are not allowing any attenders with the patients now; if they wanted to stay till the patient gets discharged, we ask them for a COVID negative certificate,” said an official at a private hospital in Adambakkam. As the demand by employers on a negative certificate could not be met, some firms now ask their employees to give an online declaration on their health conditions. “We resumed work from last month after relaxations were announced. The management did not ask for any medical certificate to prove that we are COVID negative, instead, they asked us to submit an online declaration form stating we are healthy,” said Nandhini, an IT employee.
Public health officials, however, claimed that the demand for such a certificate was useless. “We cannot provide certificates to prove a person is COVID negative. If we issue a negative certificate, the person might go around saying that he/she is negative, but the next day they might test positive,” said a top official at the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services.