Two COVID-19 patients, undergoing treatment at the isolation ward of Hyderabad’s Gandhi hospital, allegedly assaulted a junior doctor after their relative passed away in the same ward on Wednesday. The Hyderabad police registered a case against the two patients and they are being shifted out to another COVID-19 treatment facility.
Health Minister Eatala Rajender condemned the attack on the doctor and DGP M Mahendar Reddy assured strong action against the accused.
The incident happened after a 49-year-old COVID-19 patient with multiple co-morbidities succumbed to his illness after undergoing treatment for a week at Gandhi Hospital. Since the admission, doctors say, his condition was critical and the attendants were regularly updated about his health.
Along with the patient, three of his family members, including his two sons, were also tested positive and admitted into the isolation ward. Upon hearing about the patient’s death Wednesday evening, the two sons allegedly attacked general medicine resident while blaming the doctors for the death.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, North Zone DCP Kalmeshwar Shingenavar said a case has been registered against the two patients under Sections 332, 269, 270 of the IPC and Section 11 of ACT (Telangana Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (prevention of violence and damage to property) Act, 2008). “The family hails from
Nirmal district and was awaiting test results today. The father collapsed in the washroom around 12.30 pm. All of them have been tested positive. They attacked the doctor around 6.15 pm,” he said.
Condemning the attack, the health minister issued a statement: “The doctors at Gandhi Hospital are already risking their lives to protect the coronavirus patients. We will not tolerate such actions at any cost. At a critical time like this, when the entire state is fighting an epidemic, such attacks on healthcare workers are not at all good. The doctors and other healthcare workers are putting in a lot of effort to save the lives of patients and this is the time for all of us to support them.”
Expressing “displeasure and anger”, director of Public Health G Srinivas Rao, in a statement, said stringent action shall be taken against the miscreants.
The representatives of Telangana Junior Doctors’ Association (TJUDA), in a statement, said, they remained calm when doctors were attacked in Khammam and Nizamabad recently due to the present health emergency, but such incidents continue to occur.
Seeking an assurance on the issue from Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the TJUDA demanded deployment of CRPF at each floor of the hospital, entrance, and every checkpoint, and immediate recruitment of special protection force according to GO 103. They demanded the provision of PPE to all healthcare providers in all hospitals that are working at isolations and emergencies.
In a press statement, DGP M Mahendar Reddy said “strong action will be taken against the culprits immediately. Anyone indulging in such acts of vandalism will not be spared under any circumstances.” He said the police department will beef up security immediately and take all necessary measures to protect all the doctors and paramedics treating the COVID-19 patients.
City police commissioner Anjani Kumar assessed the security apparatus at the hospital after meeting hospital superintendent Dr P Shravan Kumar and said that Telangana State Special Police(TSSP) guards will be deployed at the hospital.
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