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Ex-Navy sailor tests positive for Covid-19 in Mumbai, his building under quarantine




Medics outside an isolation ward of coronavirus at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad, on 2 March 2020 | PTI
Medics outside an isolation ward for coronavirus patients at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad (representational image) | PTI

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New Delhi: A former sailor of the Indian Navy in Mumbai with no travel history tested positive for Covid-19 last week, prompting authorities to carry out extensive monitoring of the residential complex where he stayed, ThePrint has learnt.

According to sources in the Navy, the patient has been admitted to hospital. He has been working with the Navy on a contractual basis and was staying in Navy Nagar.

“His building in Navy Nagar is under quarantine and has been disinfected,” a Navy officer told ThePrint.

Located in Colaba, Navy Nagar is the prime residential area for sailors of the Indian Navy, while Navy officers stay in the adjoining Naval Officers Residential Area (NOFRA). 

“Containment plan as per ICMR guidelines has been put in place. No personnel is allowed to travel in or out of the residential area except for very essential duties,” the officer told ThePrint.

The sources also said an advisory has been sent to all the occupants of the residential area, asking them to be alert, and monitoring is being carried out at all levels.

“His direct contacts have been traced and isolated immediately,” the officer quoted above said, adding the process of identifying indirect contacts is going on.

The sources said none of the family members of the patient have tested positive. 

Also read: Avoid festivals, malls, set up isolation wards — how Army is preparing to fight coronavirus

‘Effective measures in place’

A second senior Navy officer said coronavirus infecting people in the military, which is an essential service, will affect the fight against the pandemic.

“The Covid-19 virus affecting personnel of these essential services will only erode the intensity of the fight against this contagion. Strong measures, even if drastic, are being taken after one ex-serviceman has been detected to have positive symptoms. Any further spread has to be arrested by isolation as serving personnel also reside in the Navy Nagar,” the officer said. 

“If the virus was to enter the dockyard or to the ships, it could lead to trying times as is evident from what happened with US Naval carrier Theodore Roosevelt. Effective measures are already in place to ensure such an eventuality does not occur,” the officer added.

According to reports, Navy captain Brett E. Crozier, who was removed from the command of the coronavirus-hit aircraft carrier — U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt — has tested positive for Covid-19.

As of 6 April, 61 per cent of the Roosevelt crew have been tested for Covid-19 — with 173 positive cases so far. Additionally, 1,999 sailors have been moved ashore.

Navy help in fighting Covid-19

The Indian military has been assisting the civil administration in its fight against the pandemic by providing them isolation centres, testing facilities, among other things.

According to the Navy, a Dornier aircraft was sent from INS Hansa, Goa, to Pune Monday evening to bring Covid-19 testing kits.

The aircraft was also sent to bring Dr Dilip Hinge of the National Institute of Virology, Pune, to provide training to microbiologists at the virology lab of Goa Medical College. 

“The Dornier aircraft from INS Hansa at Goa has undertaken four sorties to Pune to meet urgent requirements of transporting samples as well medical personnel for training,” the Navy said.

Also read: Indian military bans all non-essential foreign travel amid coronavirus pandemic


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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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