COVID-19: Doctors’ Body Writes to Shah Over Incidents of Assault

The Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) have written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah over multiple incidents of assault on doctors amid rising cases of COVID-19 citing the need of the Central Protection Act for medicos.

In the backdrop of rising incidents of attacks on medicos, the health ministry had last year proposed a central law to check assaults on doctors and other medical professionals. But the much-sought central legislation could not be brought with the home ministry opposing it that there cannot be a separate law to protect members of a particular profession.

“The medical fraternity stands together in the national response against COVID-19. Doctors and other healthcare professionals all over the country are putting in their best efforts in this fight. However, some unfortunate incidents of violence against frontline warriors are being regularly reported from various parts of the country even in these testing times,” the FORDA said in its letter.

They reported about such incidents taking place in various states of the nation earlier in their letter dated 1 April as well.

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The doctors' body cited two incidents of violence on resident doctors on Wednesday.

One incident took place in Gautam Nagar area in New Delhi in which a female doctor along with her sister were abused and manhandled by a person in their residential colony.

‘Though the accused has been arrested and an FIR has been lodged against the culprit this is an alarming incident and quick response teams should be formed to respond to such incidents in residential areas,” the FORDA said.

Another incident, they said, has been reported from All India Institute Of Medical Science Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh in which two resident doctors were abused and assaulted by police personnel even after showing their identity cards.

The doctors were returning to their apartments after emergency duty, they said.

“These are not isolated incidents, rather parts of the long chain of incidents of violence against doctors. The FORDA condemns such inhuman acts of violence and demands that all such acts should be marked as non-bailable offence.

“The Central Protection Act for doctors, as demanded earlier, is the need of the hour for protection of the whole medical fraternity. We shall be highly obliged if you kindly take note of the incidents and take necessary action in this regard,” they said.

The death toll due to coronavirus rose to 169 and the number of cases climbed to 5,865 in the country on Thursday registering an increase of 591 cases in last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry.

However, a PTI tally of figures reported by various states as on Thursday showed at least 6,640 cases and 227 deaths.

There has been a lag in the Union Health Ministry figures, compared to the number of cases and deaths announced by different states, which officials attribute to procedural delays in assigning the cases to individual states.

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