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As India fights coronavirus, attacks on doctors, health workers raise concerns

On Thursday, the Indore police arrested four persons from Tatpatti Bakhal locality, who were part of a mob that allegedly pelted stones and chased away health officials when they went to screen the relatives of a man who died of COVID 19.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 2, 2020 2:38:54 pm
The video of the attack showed a large group of residents shouting and chasing away a team comprising health and civic officials.

As India battles coronavirus, incidents of attack on doctors and health workers at several places have raised concerns about the security of the frontline fighters. On Thursday, the Indore police arrested four persons from Tatpatti Bakhal locality, who were part of a mob that allegedly pelted stones and chased away health officials when they went to screen the relatives of a man who died of COVID 19. A video of the attack showed a large group of residents shouting and chasing away a team comprising health and civic officials.

Criticising the conduct of the residents of Tatpatti Bakhal, the Muslim clergy has appealed to people to cooperate with the health teams. “We should repose faith in doctors who are trying to protect our lives by risking their own. No one should misbehave with the doctors,” said Indore Shahar Qazi Mohmmed Ishrat Ali.

Coronavirus India Latest Updates, April 2

A Bhopal-based Muslim cleric said patients are treated as criminals. He said certain videos are doing the rounds on the social media that have created fear among the minority community.

Seven from Nizamuddin mosque named in FIR for March gathering Sanitisation work underway at the Markaz Nizamuddin building, Wednesday. The government has evacuated
2,361 people from the building. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

In another such incident, 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.

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.

Also Read | Govt considers shift in policy, milder cases may not require hospitalisation

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.”

In neighbouring Karnataka, an ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) worker Thursday alleged she was attacked while collecting data on coronavirus. Krishnaveni said she was attacked in Byatarayanapura. “The problem started when an announcement was made against us from a mosque, whoever made that announcement should be arrested,” said Krishnaveni in a video message. A similar incident reportedly happened with ASHA workers near Meerut a day ago.

In Delhi, Tablighi Jamaat attendees quarantined at a railway facility in southeast Delhi “misbehaved” with and “even spit” at doctors and healthcare personnel attending to them. “At the quarantine centre, they misbehaved with the staff and even raised objections over the food being served to them. They even spit at the doctors and those attending them and refused to stop roaming around the quarantine facility,” Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar was quoted as saying by PTI.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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