A 45-year-old employee working in the state-run Gandhi Hospital was suspended after he allegedly violated the privacy of a COVID-19 patient. Gandhi Hospital has been recognised as an exclusive hospital to treat coronavirus patients.
The accused has been identified as Chandasekhar, a ward boy in the hospital. Though the incident took place on September 27, the police were informed about it on October 2, following which they registered a case and have initiated an investigation.
Speaking to TNM, Chilkalguda Sub Inspector N Sai Krishna said, “Since the victim is a COVID-19 patient, we were approached by the Gandhi Hospital Superintendent. According to the hospital authorities, the accused indulged in voyeurism when the victim was putting on her PPE kit.”
Police have filed a case under section 354 of the IPC (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty). “The case has been registered and the investigation is under progress,” the SI added.
According to reports, Chandrasekhar was removed from the job for his misconduct.
Sexual harassment of COVID-19 patients has been reported from many states. Earlier in May, two staffers at a private hospital in Greater Noida were accused of sexually assaulting a coronavirus patient. The accused were arrested subsequently.
Similarly, a nine-year-old girl availing treatment for coronavirus in Raipur was allegedly sexually assaulted at a private hospital by a sweeper. The accused was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
Recently, in Kerala, an ambulance driver allegedly sexually assaulted a COVID-19 patient while taking her to the hospital. The incident took place in Pathanamthitta. Police who arrested the accused, Noufal, found that he has a criminal history including an attempt to murder case. The accused confessed to the crime during the investigation.
Meanwhile, Telangana recorded 1,718 COVID-19 cases according to the state bulletin. The state also reported eight deaths. The death toll in the state stands at 1,153 and 28,328 out of the total case load of 1,97,327 are active.