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Puducherry reports first Covid-19 death as 71-year old man dies in Kannur hospital

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Kannur: The Union Territory of Puducherry reported its first COVID-19 death with a 71-year old man, hailing from Mahe, succumbing to the infection at a hospital in Kannur on Saturday.

Spokesman of the Department of Health, Puducherry, said this was the first coronavirus death from the UT.

The man died at the Pariyaram Medical College Hospital, Kannur District Medical Officer, Dr K Narayana Naik, told ‘PTI’.

Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja told reporters that “the man was not a patient from the state and had come to Kannur for treatment. All his relatives are in Mahe.”

His nine-member family has tested negative for coronavirus, she said.

Mahe, a former French colony, which shares its borders with two Kerala districts– Kannur and Kozhikode-, is an enclave of Puducherry.

Teams from Kerala and Mahe have traced almost all the contacts of the deceased and a list of 83 people has been prepared, the minister said.

“We have traced almost all contacts of the deceased.


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A contact list with 83 persons has been prepared”, she said adding the condition of the patient was critical and all efforts had been made to save his life.

The deceased had at first undergone treatment in two private hospitals at Thalassery and Kannur and was later admitted to the Pariyaram Medical College Hospital, where he died this morning, Dr Naik said.

Dr A K Jayasree of the medical college hospital said the man was also suffering from heart and kidney ailments and hypertension.

It is not clear from where the patient had contracted the virus as he has no travel history from abroad.

The man, a social worker, had attended various functions, including some weddings, offered prayers at a mosque and had travelled in various vehicles.

Samples of 16 people, who had come in contact with him, were found negative, Dr Jayasree said adding results of 30-40 other samples are awaited.

The deceased hailed from Chalakara in Mahe.

A Puducherry report said during treatment for renal ailment, the man tested positive for coronavirus and was shifted to a COVID-19 hospital in Kannur a few days later.

Seven people have tested positive for the virus in Puducherry, of whom one of them died Saturday morning.

A 68-year old woman from Mahe who had returned from a pilgrimage in March, had tested positive.

She had been cured and discharged from the Mahe government hospital recently.


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

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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.”


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‘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.


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