Coronavirus (COVID-19): Union Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday interacted with doctors of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), appreciated their work on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic and assured them of their safety. Along with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Shah held a video conference amid several reports of attacks on healthcare workers.
Shah appealed to doctors to withdraw the symbolic protest they had planned Wednesday, saying the government was with them. The IMA had announced “white alert”, a vigil at 9 pm where doctors and hospitals would light a candle to urge the Centre to enact a law against healthcare violence.
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#WATCH Delhi: Union HM Amit Shah & Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan interacted with Indian Medical Association doctors through video conferencing today. HM assured them security & appealed to them to not to do even symbolic protest as proposed by them, govt is with them. pic.twitter.com/kuiB8vsxWC
— ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2020
Following the meeting, the IMA withdrew its protest, saying the government had assured them it would take necessary steps and come out “shortly” with relevant legislation to address the safety of doctors.
Shah, meanwhile, tweeted, “Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and I interacted with doctors and representatives of IMA through video conferencing. The way our doctors are performing their duties in these testing times is exceptional. I urge every Indian to cooperate with doctors in this fight against COVID-19.”
There have been attacks against healthcare professionals in many cities in the last month. In fact, on the day of the video conference, five were arrested in Faridabad for beating up an ASHA worker the day before.
On April 2, four people were arrested from the Tatpatti Bakhal locality in Indore for being a part of a mob that allegedly pelted stones and chased health officials who were in the area to screen relatives of a Covid-19 patient.
Around the same time, a junior doctor was allegedly assaulted in Hyderabad by two Covid-19 patients after their relative succumbed to the disease.
In Karnataka, an ASHA worker was attacked while collecting data on the novel coronavirus.
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.
In Chennai, too, a mob attack took place while family members and colleagues of Dr Hercules were conducted his last rites.
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