Updated: April 3, 2020 8:07:43 pm
Star Indian sprinter Hima Das and former footballer Bhaichung Bhutia on Friday expressed sadness at incidents of attacks on police personnel and doctors trying to discharge their duties during the country-wide lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
A DSP in Assam Police, Das said she expressed her sentiments during a video call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia urged PM Modi to ensure punishment for the people who had attacked a team of healthcare workers in Indore and also pointed out the lack of testing kits in Sikkim to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two were part of 40-odd elite sportspersons who discussed the prevailing situation in the country on a video conference call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
“The told us the measures the government has taken to fight against coronavirus, especially in the health sector. We also told the what we were doing during the lockdown, how we were obeying the lockdown by staying inside our rooms,” Hima Das said in a video shared later.
“The other thing I told the PM was: I feel sad that people attacked policemen and doctors by throwing stones at them. These people don’t follow lockdown rules,” she added referring to incidents of unruliness in Indore and Ghaziabad, which have triggered outrage.
Two women doctors were injured on Wednesday when a five-member team of health officials was pelted with stones by a mob in Taatpatti Bakhal area, Indore, prompting nationwide outrage.
“I request @narendramodi to take strict action against the attackers who struck the doctors on the frontlines of the COVID-19 in Indore,” Bhutia wrote in a letter in his twitter handle.
The police on Thursday arrested seven persons for the alleged attack and the district administration slapped the National Security Act (NSA) on four of them.
Das, who was a part of the country’s gold winning quartet in women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m relay races in the Asian Games, advised people to remain indoors and practice social distancing till the coronavirus is eliminated root and branch.
“I told the that after this 21-day lockdown and till coronavirus is completely eliminated, these lockdown rules should be there, people should not go out of their homes and social distancing should remain in practice,” said the runner from Assam who won a 400m gold in the World Junior Championships in Finland in 2018.
Bhutia also said that the health care professionals should be provided with required gears and equipments as they are most vulnerable.
“Healthcare workers are especially to be appreciated and looked after first, as they are most vulnerable to infection and becoming the carrier,” said the decorated striker, who has played 107 matches for India.
“They should be provided with proper PPE and N95 masks all over India,” added the veteran footballer, who had also part of the group of over 40 athletes, who on Friday participated in nearly an hour-long video call with the Prime Minister.
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