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Pune Covid-19 patient named by section of media, family facing boycott: Lawyer to cops

The lawyer said, "The family members and relatives are facing angry questions from people who have come to know the name of the patient. The family is being denied access to water and public places... they are being forcefully confined to their house while children have been barred from school."

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: March 11, 2020 9:11:04 pm
coronavirus, pune coronavirus, coronavirus cases in pune, coronavirus patient name disclosed pune, legal action as coronavirus patient name disclosed in pune, pune news, indian express Five patients have tested positive for coronavirus in Pune so far. (Express photo)

A Pune-based lawyer has complained to the Pune Divisional Commissioner and police authorities that because the name of a coronavirus patient was published by a section of the media, his family is facing a social boycott. The lawyer, acting on behalf of the family, has demanded action against the media outlet concerned, and against officials, for releasing the name of the patient.

In his complaint to Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar and Pune City Police’s Cyber Crime Cell, advocate Kishor Patil has stated that after positive cases of coronavirus in Pune came to light, the name of a patient and some related details were published in the media.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Patil said, “The name of the said person was published by a section of the media and also circulated on social media platforms. This has caused serious mental agony to family members of the person at various places, including their native village. They are facing a situation of social boycott.”

He added, “The family members and relatives are facing angry questions from people who have come to know the name of the patient. The family members have been denied access to water and public places… they are being forcefully confined to their house and children in the family have been barred from going to school. They are being harassed with questions about whether they have come in contact with the patient. Rumours are being spread about them.”

“I have demanded that disciplinary and punitive action be taken against officials responsible for releasing the name of the persons and also against the media organisation. Utmost care should be taken in the future to make sure than names or identities of the affected persons are not made public,” said Patil.

Officials from the Pune Divisional Commissioner’s office said they have taken cognizance of the complaint and will look into it.

Patil also met Pune city police officials over the issue. “Cyber Crime Cell officials have assured me they will keep a watch on social media platforms to make sure that names of affected persons or any rumours suggesting names of… suspected patients are not made public,” he said.

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