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Delhi to start Covid-19 testing for media persons after 53 Mumbai journalists test positive

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A doctor places a thermometer into a patient's ear during coronavirus symptom tests. (Representational Image) | Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg
A doctor places a thermometer into a patient’s ear during coronavirus symptom tests. (Representational Image) | Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg File photo


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New Delhi: The Delhi government will start COVID-19 testing for mediapersons from Wednesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday, after 53 scribes tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Mumbai.

Addressing the media online, the chief minister said his government has set up a centre where free COVID-19 tests will be conducted on mediapersons.

Journalists are also at the frontline in the battle against COVID-19, he added.

“We have set up a centre. All media houses and journalists will be informed about it. Interested mediapersons can undergo tests at the centre from Wednesday morning,” Kejriwal said.

Earlier in the day, responding to a tweet in which a person requested the chief minister to make arrangements for mass COVID-19 testing for mediapersons in Delhi on the lines of Mumbai, Kejriwal said, “Sure. We will do that.”

Alarmed over 53 journalists testing positive for COVID-19 in neighbouring Maharashtra, the Karnataka government on Tuesday also decided to conduct a health checkup camp for journalists in Bengaluru.

During a special camp organised at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai on April 16 and 17 for COVID-19 testing of scribes, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had collected the swab samples of 171 mediapersons, including electronic and print media journalists, photographers and cameramen.

“Of the 171 mediapersons, 53 tested positive for coronavirus,” BMC spokesperson Vijay Khabale said on Monday, adding that most of those who tested positive are asymptomatic at present.

On Monday, the total number of coronavirus cases rose to 2,081 in Delhi, with 78 fresh cases and two deaths reported in a day.


Also read: Asymptomatic coronavirus patients in Delhi to be kept in Covid care centres


 

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

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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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