Assam Doctor Thrashed By Kin of Deceased COVID Patient, 24 Held
CM Sarma tweeted, “Such barbaric attacks on our frontline workers won’t be tolerated by our administration.”
Video Editor: Naman Shah
During the pandemic, doctors have remained vulnerable not just to the virus but also to attacks from relatives of dying or deceased COVID patients. Dr Seuj Kumar Senapati, posted at a COVID Care Centre (CCC) in Udali in Assam’s Hojai district, is the latest victim of such an attack. He was brutally beaten and thrashed by utensils and brooms on Tuesday, 1 June, by a mob that included the family members of a deceased patient.
The police arrested 24 people in connection with the case by Wednesday, 2 June, morning. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted against the attack and said, “Such barbaric attacks on our frontline workers won't be tolerated by our administration.”
The Assam state branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) called for all doctors in the state to stop outdoor patient services for today (Wednesday). However, emergency services and COVID duties will continue. Doctors will also wear black badges as a mark of protest, NDTV reported. The body has also demanded the deployment of armed security personnel in all health care facilities.
The letter sent to CM Sarma by the IMA branch also said if their demands aren’t met, the state branch of the IMA will give a call for the boycott of all non-emergency medical services including non-critical COVID duties on 3 June 2021, Indian Express reported.
Dr Senapati was quoted as saying, “The attendant of the patient came to me saying the patient is serious and has not passed urine since morning. I went to the room and found that the patient was dead. As I broke the news to the attendant, another relative started abusing me.”
What followed was a mob that attacked the hospital. Dr Senapati locked himself in a room, however, the mob broke in and assaulted him.
He added, “They snatched my gold chain, my ring, and my mobile,” NDTV reported.
Indian Medical Association Demands Action
IMA president Dr JA Jayalal said, “IMA and the whole fraternity of the country are saddened and anguished to see the brutal attack on the young and vibrant doctor, Dr Seuj Kumar Senapati. This is the time the government should do something to save the morale and health of doctors,” ANI reported.
Jayalal added, “On one side, people are passing ill comments on doctors, and on the other side, people are physically assaulting them. Hospitals should be announced as a protected zone so that doctors are secure. We demand a stringent Act to prevent such incidents.”
(With inputs from NDTV, ANI and The Indian Express)
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