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34 Bhopal cops test positive for Covid-19, officials blame Tablighi Jamaat event




Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan reviews a meeting with senior officials regarding quarantine of the Muslims involved in Tablighi Jamaat, in Bhopal on 1 April | ANI
File photo | Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan at a meeting with senior officials regarding quarantine of Tablighi Jamaat attendees, in Bhopal on 1 April | ANI

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Bhopal: Thirty-four police personnel, including some officers, have tested coronavirus positive in Bhopal so far, a top official said on Thursday.

The official claimed that as per the findings, the initial infections in the city’s police force were caused when the personnel went out in search of those who had returned to the state capital after attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Delhi’s Nizamuddin held last month.

“With a policeman in our cyber cell testing coronavirus positive this morning, 34 of our personnel, including officers, have been infected so far,” Bhopal Additional Director General of Police, Upendra Jain, told PTI.

Besides them, around 30 of their family members have also contracted the infection, he added.

In order to curb the spread of the virus and to keep their family members safe, around 2,100 police personnel in the city are not going homes after their duty hours.

“They have been put up in hotels and provided PPE kits, sanitisers and food,” he added.

“After an analysis, we came to know that the virus found its way into the police force when our personnel went out to search for the people who had come to Bhopal after attending the congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi last month,” Jain said.

“As per the findings, there was no other source initially, except the Nizamuddin attendees, from whom they could have contracted the infection. The police went to the mosques under Jahangirabad and Ashbagh police stations towards the end of last month to look for the attendees,” he said.

Already 30-35 Jamaat members, including foreigners, who had come from Delhi, had tested coronavirus positive, Jain said.

He, however, said that all the policemen were not infected due to the Nizamuddin attendees.

“One of them contracted the infection as he was part of a medical team visiting homes to check the virus spread. A few others got infected in the containment areas and during the general duty, but the virus crept into police force through the Nizamuddin attendees,” he said.

“No policemen or their family member affected by the virus had history of travel abroad,” Jain said.

Also read: CM Shivraj Chouhan says Tablighi Jamaat members behind ‘rapid rise’ in MP’s Covid-19 cases


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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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