Coronavirus patients harass, spit at woman doctor in Covid care centre

Updated: Jul 28, 2020, 08:49 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Agartala

The woman doctor had gone to the Covid care centre to admit more patients

Photo used for representational purposes
Photo used for representational purposes

Coronavirus patients admitted at a Covid care centre in Tripura allegedly harassed and spat at a female doctor who came to the centre to admit more patients on Friday.

No action has been taken even after 48 hours when a section of Covid-19 patients misbehaved with a woman doctor.

Tripura Health and Family Welfare Department Director Radha Debbarma said they would lodge an FIR over the incident of misbehaviour with West Tripura District Health Surveillance Officer Sangita Chakraborty on Friday.

Stating that Chakraborty, a young doctor, worked hard to take care of Covid-19 and other patients, Debbarma said, "The health directorate officials after scrutinising the video of the incident would file an FIR."

Demanding 'exemplary punishment', the All Tripura Government Doctors' Association (ATGDA) general secretary Rajesh Choudhury said they had raised the issues with higher authorities, including Sanjay Kumar Rakesh, Additional Chief Secretary (in-charge of Health and Family Welfare Department).

"If they failed to take any action, we would take appropriate legal steps," Choudhury said. Terming this kind of uncivilised behaviour unexpected and unacceptable, he said a precedent had to be set to warn others.

Dr Chakraborty said she was abused and spat at by some patients being treated at a Covid care centre when she had gone there on Friday to admit five women who had given birth to babies a day before.

"The women had undergone caesarian operations at Tripura Medical College on Thursday. When they tested Covid-19 positive, we decided to shift them to the Covid care centre. We had gone there with a health department team and the police personnel. When we tried to admit them, a group of men and women obstructed the process, claiming there were no vacant beds," she said.

When requested by other doctors and nurses to return to their beds, some of them started using filthy languages, spat at me and threatened to touch me and infect me with coronavirus, Dr Chakraborty said.

"This is most unfortunate and dehumanising. We are treating them. All patients need the same care. We feel humiliated," said another doctor, a colleague of Dr Chakraborty.

According to Indian Express, the facility currently houses 270 patients. Though the maximum capacity is 300 patients, the patients claimed it is over-crowded.

Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary SK Rakesh was quoted as saying in the report, “If it is true, we shall take action. As per our guidelines, any COVID-19 patient violating the rules would be arrested after they are discharged and taken in custody.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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