In a bizarre incident, a 55-year-old man who had tested positive for Covid-19 in India’s Maharashtra state, attacked and injured a doctor with a saline stand on Wednesday after he was asked not to take off his oxygen mask.
The patient was admitted to the government-run hospital at Alibaug in Maharashtra’s Raigad district and was undergoing treatment for Covid-19, local reports said. The doctor had asked the patient not to remove his oxygen mask which, police confirmed, angered the patient.
Later, when the doctor was sitting on a chair, the patient sneaked up from behind and started hitting him on his head with a saline stand, police said.
The doctor, identified by police as Swapnadeep Thale, was seriously injured in the incident and was later admitted to the same hospital for treatment.
The patient had been admitted to Civil Hospital four days ago. Several reports suggested that Dr Thale was on duty when the incident happened. The police however are yet to find a reason for the attack. Investigations, meanwhile, are on.
A police spokesperson told the media: “The patient had been undergoing treatment at the hospital for the last four days. During his round, the doctor asked the patient not to remove his oxygen mask again and again.”
“However, the doctor’s instructions annoyed the patient,” police said.
The patient’s name wasn’t revealed by the police. But he has been charged with assault.
Maharashtra, on Tuesday, reported 7,243 new coronavirus cases and 196 fatalities, taking the total to 61,72,645 infections. The total death toll in the state is 1,26,220, as per the state’s health department data.
The Alibaug hospital assault incident is not the first time doctors and healthcare workers have been attacked in India. In April this year, when the country was in the throes of a devastating second wave, seven to eight hospital employees, including doctors from Apollo Hospital in south Delhi, were injured after they were attacked by the relatives of a Covid-19 patient, following the patient’s death.
In a separate incident, earlier this month, two doctors from Delhi were attacked by locals in south Delhi’s Gautam Nagar area, following a heated argument over the spread of the ongoing coronavirus in the city.
This happened on the eve of the National Doctor’s Day in the country.