Governance Now Visionary Talks Series

Doctors, others continue to face vigilantism

Health minister express regret, concern

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | March 27, 2020 | Mumbai


#health ministry   #mumbai   #maharashtra   #lockdown   #healthcare   #epidemic   #coronavirus   #COVID-19   #Dr Harsh Vardhan  
Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan during his daily Covid-19 situation update meeting in Delhi on Thursday (Image courtesy @DrHarshVardhan)
Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan during his daily Covid-19 situation update meeting in Delhi on Thursday (Image courtesy @DrHarshVardhan)

Scare following the outbreak of Covid-19 has led some people to turn to vigilantism, harassing people at the frontline of fighting the disease and keeping the country running amid the lockdown.

Earlier this week, the medical associations had made representations before home minister Amit Shah, who had assured them of help. On Thursday, health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, himself a renowned doctor, expressed regret and concern at continued harassment faced by doctors and paramedics, apart from others who keep essential services on.

In Mumbai, there are reports that healthcare providers including doctors, nurses, paramedics and support staff across specializations who are working to save lives are being harassed and ostracised in their neighbourhoods. Many of these frontline workers are facing resistance from the places they live in and finding difficult to go to work.

“Getting to work has become very difficult. The community has become the decider of what you can do. If my assistant and nurse are not there I cannot do my work,” said obstetrician and gynecologist Dr Nozer Sheriar one of whose staff members was warned by neighbours against going to work or face eviction from home along with his family. “Despite having an authority letter that he needs to go to the hospital the local vigilante and community in their jingoism told him that he should not go to work and if he does, he will be thrown out along with his family. A handful of people are deciding for everyone and dictating what is the right way.”

Calling for a firm and effective implementation by the government to come out with a system specially at the local level where every essential services provider can register and get passes for movement and provision of services, Dr Sheriar says, “These are still early days but something needs to be done formally so medical professionals can do emergency work at least and which will have to be defined. It has to be done at the local level and not the national level.”

With almost half the staff finding it difficult to come to work as things stand with minimal transport and as they live far away, he says even where some hospitals have provided their staff with rooms in their quarters, many of them are women who have responsibilities on both sides. “Very soon most hospitals will be mobilised into isolation and ICU centres,” says Sheriar.

Many doctors point out the irony that on Sunday, following prime minister Narendra Modi's appeal, people at large had banged plates and made noise to thank doctors and others who are helping the country fight the battle against virus, but now the same fighters are facing vigilantes in many cities.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Maharashtra government decided to allow grocery and medicine shops and other vendors of essential goods and services open round the clock, following reports of panic and difficulty in getting stocks and supplies.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Honouring the Honest: PM launches platform for transparent taxation

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched a platform for “Transparent Taxation - Honouring the Honest” through video conferencing. Addressing trade and industry bodies over video conferencing, Modi said the process of structural reforms in the country’s economy has

Few pvt channels give credit to DD: Prasar Bharati CEO

Very few of the 200-plus private news channels gave credit to Doordarshan for the live footage of the historic Bhumi Pujan ceremony at Ayodhya on August 5, says Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO, Prasar Bharati. This can impact the revenues but that is not what the public telecaster is aiming at.

Covid-19: More than 3 crore N95 masks distributed

More than 3.04 crore masks of N95 variety and more than 1.28 crore personal protection equipment (PPE) kits have been distributed by the centre to states and union territories (UTs) as part of their joint fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Since 11th March 2020, more than 10.83 crore HCQ t

Covid-19: Vigorous testing leads to fatality rate drop

India has been registering more new cases of Covid-19 infection than any other country for the past seven days, yet its rigorous push on testing and thus on early identification is bearing fruits, with the case fatality rate (CFR) going further down to 2.1. In a new high, India has scaled th

Election manifestos and voters` Right to Know

Recognising the importance of election manifestos, the supreme court directed the election commission (EC) of India to frame guidelines directly governing the contents of the election manifestos in the case of S. Subramaniam Balaji v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors. reported in (2013) 9 SCC 659. Although th

No support from govt, says ad veteran Sam Balsara

Advertising veteran Sam Balsara has lamented the lack of support from the government to the industry and said that it has completely ignored the sector. Balsara, the founder, chairman and managing director of Madison World and Madison Communications, said that the government needs to provide

Governance Now 5th PSU IT Forum

Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter