A DAY after Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said that a case will be registered against private doctor of Panchkula who treated a patient five days before she tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Panchkula police booked the medico for alleged negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life under Section 269 of the IPC. The provision provides for a maximum imprisonment of six months.
The Panchkula police late Friday released a statement to the media saying, “According to information received by CMO, a case has been registered by the police against the doctor of the private clinic treating corona positive lady of Sector 15 Panchkula. While treating the couple, the quarantine rule was not followed. When the tests took place, the couple turned out to be corona positive. The doctor did not follow the rules and put other patients at risk. No information was given to the health department about the couple by the doctor. A case has been registered under Section 269 by Investigating Officer in Police Station Sector 5 Panchkula for gross negligence by the doctor of private clinic.”
When asked who was the complainant, DCP Mohit Handa said, “According to information received by CMO, we have filed the complaint.” The Panchkula police did not immediately make the FIR public in contravention of the routine procedure.
The registration of the FIR against the doctor has generated a strong resentment among the medical fraternity of the city. Senior doctors in the Panchkula health department have expressed concern over the precedent such an act sets.
The IMA has submitted a memorandum to both the CMO and the Deputy Commissioner, stating the facts are different from what must have appeared. According to president of IMA Panchkula, Dr Rajesh Arya, a “right chronology of events” has too been explained in the document, “which clears that the private doctor took timely and responsible action”.
The IMA also issued a statement to the press, calling the “allegations by the administration baseless” and also stated that the doctor has been wrongly implicated. The statement said “IMA Panchkula stands by the doctor as he has fulfilled his duties to inform health authorities timely”.
A senior doctor of the Panchkula civil hospital said, “He had done nothing wrong. He followed all protocols as well. That is the reason he and his family have not tested positive. It was the fault of the patient who refused to reveal her travel history. It is her who should be booked. She did not even reveal her travel history to us and the police have to trace her cellular location to find it.”