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Senior Punjab cop loses battle with Covid-19, was to undergo plasma therapy




Ludhiana Police has made a team of 20 personnel as an emergency response team, called Covid Commandos, to fight the pandemic, in Ludhiana on 16 April 2020
Ludhiana Police has made a team of 20 personnel as an emergency response team, called Covid Commandos, to fight the pandemic, in Ludhiana on 16 April 2020 (representational image) | ANI

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Chandigarh: A senior Punjab Police officer, who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, died at a hospital Saturday after suffering from comorbid conditions.

Anil Kohli, an assistant commissioner of police (ACP) in Ludhiana, was on ventilator support for the past several days at the SPS Apollo Hospital in Ludhiana. The 52-year-old officer was scheduled for a plasma therapy but died before the procedure could begin.

The Punjab government had Friday decided to support the medical team of the SPS Apollo Hospital to conduct plasma therapy on Kohli.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Girish Dayalan told ThePrint that a coronavirus survivor from Mohali was sent to Ludhiana Saturday morning as the plasma donor.

“There he was tested for the requisite antibodies required in the plasma for which he tested positive. But before the process of plasma therapy could begin, the ACP’s condition had considerably deteriorated and unfortunately nothing could be done,” said Dayalan.

Condoling the death, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh tweeted saying the state has lost two “corona warriors” — ACP Kohli and revenue official Gurmel Singh (who died Friday after testing positive for the virus).

“Sad to share that we had lost Gurmel Singh Kanungo yesterday and ACP Anil Kohli in Ludhiana to # Covid-19 today. In this moment of crisis, losing our Corona Warriors is a big loss for the state. I join their families in this time of grief. Rest assured Punjab will stand by them,” Singh said.

The chief minister also announced Rs 50 lakh ex-gratia to the next of kin of both officers. He said a similar amount will be paid to family members of any official who dies in the line of duty due to coronavirus.

“Deeply saddened to lose two of my officials to #Covid19. Have decided to pay Rs 50 lakh ex-gratia to their next to kin. While I pray such an incident shouldn’t happen, but if it does, state govt will pay Rs 50 lakh to NoK of officials who die in line of duty due to #Covid19 (sic),” he said.

Also read: Rotis, mobile recharges, carrom boards — how Kerala fixed its migrant worker anger

Kohli joined Punjab Police in 1990

ACP Kohli had joined the Punjab Police in 1990, at a time when the state saw large instance of terrorism.

Family sources said Kohli was cremated by his son Paras Kohli with full state honour at the Gas Crematorium in Ludhiana. His cremation was attended by Ludhiana Police Commissioner Rakesh Agarwal, MP Ravneet Singh Bittu and other elected representatives.

Punjab has so far reported 218 positive cases and 16 deaths. The state continues to be among the top in the country in terms of Covid-19 fatalities, raising eyebrows about  treatment protocols being followed and hospital care for coronavirus patients.

Also read: 5-day break for staff, proper kits — how Punjab hospital is handling Covid-19 in hotspot 


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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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