Coronavirus testing: Health workers under attack 

7 held in Indore for assault on a health team, several such incidents are coming to the fore.

Published: 03rd April 2020 11:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2020 11:31 AM   |  A+A-

Health workers return after they were denied permission by residents to collect samples for COVID 19 test in Hindipiri area of Ranchi in Jharkhand on Thursday | pti

By Express News Service

As the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak continues to spread across India, several reports of doctors and health workers coming under attack have come to the fore raising concerns over their safety. In Madhya Pradesh’s Indore, seven people were arrested on Thursday in connection with Wednesday’s attack on health workers at Taat Patti Bakhal locality under Chhattripura area, said DIG Indore HC Chari Mishra. “The seven accused have been arrested and some others are being identified through video footage,” he said.

Two women doctors were injured when the five-member team of health officials was pelted with stones while they were trying to trace a person who had come into contact with a COVID-19 patient, police said.
Dr Madhav Hasani, who is the general secretary of the MP Medical Officers Association has condemned the incident and raised the issue with state’s chief secretary Iqbal Singh Bains, demanding security of health workers and doctors engaged in the field screening and survey exercise.

Condemning the incident, the Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said such incidents will not be tolerated and those involved will not be spared.A similar scene played out in Assam when a youth Shahrukh Khan, who was kept under home quarantine following his return from Bihar, attacked a multipurpose worker of Assam’s health department at Hajo in Kamrup district last week. He was later arrested by the police. 

In Bihar’s Munger district, a team of health workers and policemen were allegedly attacked by a mob when the team insisted on collecting samples from the family of an eight-old-girl, who had died on Monday and is suspected to have contracted the virus. The locals turned violent when the team wanted to place the family of the deceased in an isolation ward. 

Taking note of the violence, the central unit of Indian Medical Association has written to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Thursday requesting him to take adequate steps for the safety of people of health fraternity. 
“We request your good self to take adequate steps to secure the hospitals and the lives of doctors. Any demotivation or fall in morale amongst doctors and health workers will be a serious setback,” the IMA letter said.

Health workers had to face similar resistance from locals In Jharkhand’s Hindpiri on Thursday. A Malaysian woman, who was found along with 17 other foreigners in Hindpiri area of Ranchi, had tested positive of coronavirus on Tuesday. The district administration, after imposing curfew in the area, decided to conduct screening of every person living in the area and health workers were called in. The locals refused to let them in and said that did not need any check-up. 

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