Any delay in paying salaries of health workers will now be treated as an offence, the Centre said in an order issued on Thursday.
The defaulting hospitals and authorities will face penal action if they don't disburse the salaries of health personnel on time.
Asking chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure compliance with the order, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said in the letter, as seen by the Economic Times, that non-compliance with it (order) "will be treated as an offence under the Disaster Management Act read with the Indian Penal Code and action taken accordingly against defaulting hospitals/institutions/authorities."
The Union Health Ministry also came out with an updated advisory (for healthcare workers) late Thursday evening which said that the quarantine period for doctors, and other healthcare workers with high risk exposure shall be initially for one week.
It further stated that they will have to go into home isolation if they (health workers) test positive for coronavirus but remain asymptomatic.
The advisory added that in cases where home isolation is not viable, such (mild/very mild/pre-symptomatic) cases will be admitted to a COVID-19 health centre.
It enunciated that moderate cases that need oxygen therapy shall be taken care of at a dedicated COVID-19 care centre.
Meanwhile, healthcare workers with low-risk contacts shall continue to work and self-monitor their health for the development of any symptoms of coronavirus, the new advisory stated.