KOLKATA: A suspected COVID-19 patient, his pregnant wife and their child were allegedly assaulted by their neighbours at Patuli in the southern part of the city, following which West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked people to fight the disease and not those who are infected.
The ongoing combat against the pandemic is the "fight for survival", she said, adding that people should unitedly stand by the patients and help them recover quickly.
Her comments followed the IT professional alleging on Wednesday that he, his three-year-old son and his wife who is three months' pregnant were assaulted physically by their neighbours on Tuesday afternoon though they are adhering to the COVID-19 quarantine protocol.
He claimed that the neighbours pushed his wife and beat him with shoes as they are against their stay at their home.
The neighbours, however, rubbished the allegations and have accused the man and his family members of violating the home isolation protocol related to COVID-19.
The man had been tested last week and the results are awaited. Tests were conducted on his wife and son as well and both had tested negative.
The man had mailed his complaint to Patuli police station on Tuesday night when the personnel on duty asked his wife to do so when she went there.
An investigation has been initiated into the case after the complaint was lodged, police said on Wednesday.
More reports of attacks on frontline warriors and patients have been surfacing in the state from time to time.
Banerjee said, "We have to keep this in mind that our fight is against the disease and not against those who have been infected by it. There are instances when people do not want to allow a person infected with the disease to enter their locality. I appeal to them not to do so."
"We must not forget that anybody can be infected by the disease any moment. So we must unitedly fight against it. It's our duty to treat the patient and we will try to help them in the best possible way. This fight is for survival," she told reporters at the state secretariat.
She thanked doctors, nurses, health workers and the police for playing an important role in fighting novel coronavirus.
Around 35 WBCS officials and 500 policemen have been infected by the disease, she said.
"There will be times when we will have to face cyclones like Amphan, Aila, Fani or have to stand against dengue or COVID-19. We all have to stand against them unitedly, loving each other," Banerjee added.