Cases of harassment against doctors and healthcare workers have been reported recently. A week back, 2 female doctors wearing protective suits were attacked with stones in Indore. It is shameful how doctors, who are working tirelessly against the coronavirus, are being subjected to such negative behavior.
In another alarming incident, a female doctor in Surat was harassed and abused by a neighbouring couple over coronavirus fears. They threatened to kick her out of the building believing that she was infected by COVID-19 and that she would spread it to the entire building, reports India Today.
According to a report by Ahmedabad Mirror, the couple, identified as Chetan and Bhavna Mehta, had asked the government hospital doctor if she is infected by COVID-19. They then went on to hurl abuses at her, and the harassing behavior has continued ever since.
“I was targetted just because I am a doctor at the civil hospital where coronavirus patients are treated,” the doctor said.
Another report states how the doctor, at first, was ridiculed by the couple for stepping out of the house to perform her duties. When she paid no heed to their snarky comments, they stopped her from entering her own house.
Speaking to India Today, the doctor an account of the harassment:
“The hostility started on March 23, when the novel coronavirus outbreak registered in everybody’s mind due to lockdown. I was stopped at the main gate and told by neighbours that I am on their hit list because I go to the hospital every day. ‘This is not done,’ they said, ‘If this continues, we will take action against you.'”
She added, “All my neighbours have the same sense of resentment. They all give me a hostile look. Nobody is happy that I am a doctor and I am working in a hospital where COVID-19 patients are being treated.”
A video of Chetan Mehta abusing the doctor in front of other neighbours has gone viral on the internet. He can be heard saying, “What if you are doctor? I will kick you out of the building.”
Have a look:
Doctor working in Surat Civil Hospital was harassed by her neighbour who abused her and also physically assaulted.
CM @vijayrupanibjp must take strict action.
Doctors already suffer due to lack of PPEs. Now they also are facing social isolation!pic.twitter.com/P31N3H6BMw
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) April 6, 2020
“These are the same people who used to call me in the middle of the night when they got sick and I would go and help. Right now, because of the corona thing they think I am going to infect them. There is absolutely no trust and of course no respect,” the doctor said.
The couple had been arrested by the police and later released a bail after they handed over a sincere apology for their behavior.
“I confess that due to the fear of the coronavirus, my wife and I misbehaved with Dr Panigrahi and we are extremely sorry about it,” read the apology.
Doctors are risking their own lives by working at the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. What is the use of clapping our hands for them when we fail to respect them and subject them to harassment in reality?