Connect with us


Haryana doubles salaries of healthcare officials and workers fighting Covid-19




Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar (right) and Health Minister Anil Vij Thursday | Photo: ANI
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar (right) and Health Minister Anil Vij Thursday | Photo: ANI

Text Size:

Chandigarh: The Haryana government has decided to double the salary of all healthcare officials and workers who are tackling the Covid-19 outbreak in the state. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar made this announcement through a video address Thursday evening.

Haryana is the first state to take such a step to motivate health workers to continue their fight against the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.

“We have taken this decision after deliberations with the state health minister (Anil Vij). All those health officials, including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and class-4 employees working in hospitals, as well as staff working with ambulances and testing centres will be paid double the salary till this continues,” Khattar said.

However, the Haryana Congress has been quick to claim credit for the BJP-led government’s move. The party’s national spokesperson and former Haryana MLA Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: “Dear KhattarJi, Deeply grateful for accepting Congress demand of doubling the pay of Doctors/Health Workers treating #Covid_19 patients. I again request you to extend the benefit to all Doctors/Health Workers. In absence of PPE’s/Masks, all of them are susceptible to COVID.”

The tweet added: “Spl. category of employees serving despite threat of #Covid_19 infection are-1. Police Officials who are on duty round the clock; 2. Safai Karamcharis serving tirelessly; 3. Elect. & Drinking Water employees. Pl give them benefit of double pay too.”

Surjewala had, in a 31 March video press conference, asked the government to incentivise police personnel and sanitation workers, who, “along with the doctors and paramedical staff, are playing a pivotal role in our battle to check the spread of the deadly virus”.

“The police personnel and safai karamcharis of the state should be appreciated by the government by giving them a 50 per cent pay hike for three months, as their services are critical at this juncture,” Surjewala had said.

Also read: Punjab and Haryana stare at massive farm crisis as lockdown leads to labour shortage

Numbers spike

Meanwhile, Haryana has registered a sudden spurt in the number of Covid-19 cases, after having effectively contained it in the first week of the lockdown.

The spike is being attributed to the presence of people who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi in mid-March.

Rajiv Arora, the state’s principal secretary, health, informed journalists Thursday that 107 Covid-19 cases in Haryana can be traced to the Tablighi Jamaat event.

In the week ending Thursday, the number of positive cases in the state has increased from 35 to 156, with the fresh cases being reported from Tablighi Jamaat members in Faridabad, Palwal, Nuh and Gurugram. The numbers in Palwal have increased to 28 from four on 2 April, while the corresponding numbers for Faridabad are 28 and six. In Nuh, where the first three cases were detected on 3 March, the number has now increased to 38.

With the numbers spiralling, unprecedented steps have been taken to contain infection within these hotspots. In Nuh, 36 villages have been declared as containment zones and 104 villages as buffer zones, while in Palwal, the corresponding numbers are nine and 27. Another 13 areas in Faridabad have been declared as containment zones.

Also read: Haryana bans chewing gums to check Covid-19. Experts say no proof of link but praise move

Health team attacked

Meanwhile, a team of health officials that was conducting a door-to-door check in Panchkula’s Rajiv Colony looking for members of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation were attacked by residents and stopped from conducting the search, Haryana DGP Manoj Yadav told ThePrint.

Police sources added that almost 1,600 members had been tracked and quarantined.

Health Minister Vij had issued a warning Tuesday that all Tablighis and their associates should inform the government about their whereabouts, failing which they would be booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code. The deadline was Wednesday 5pm.

The police sources added that five members were traced after the deadline in Yamunanagar district, and were booked.

Also read: Chewing gum ban good but Haryana’s hookah culture can be real Covid-19 culprit


ThePrint is now on Telegram. For the best reports & opinion on politics, governance and more, subscribe to ThePrint on Telegram.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.


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

Text Size:

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


ThePrint is now on Telegram. For the best reports & opinion on politics, governance and more, subscribe to ThePrint on Telegram.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Continue Reading