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Tablighis not getting timely meals in Delhi, says Palaniswami, asks Kejriwal to step in




Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami | Commons

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New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami wrote to his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal Friday evening, requesting better care for 559 Tablighi Jamaat members from the state who are quarantined in the national capital.

The letter, which was released to the media, also seeks to alert Kejriwal to “a number of grievances with regard to conditions of stay” at quarantine facilities in Delhi.

The Tamil Nadu CM said a total of 559 people from Tamil Nadu, who had attended the March congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat that has been linked to dozens of Covid-19 cases around the country, are quarantined in the national capital.

“The individuals have been complaining that some of them are diabetic and suffering from other comorbidities. They are also not provided timely meals in the quarantine facilities,” the letter states, citing the death of a 60-year-old diabetic Tablighi Jamaat member who passed away this week after he was allegedly denied timely meals and medicines at a Delhi quarantine centre.

Also read: 30% of India’s Covid-19 positive caseload linked to Tablighi Jamaat meet, says govt

‘Ramadan is about to start, provide timely food & medicines’

Palaniswami has requested Kejriwal to instruct the “authorities concerned” to serve food at appropriate times, especially with the holy Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan or Ramzan, starting Saturday.

During Ramzan, devotees only have a meal before sunrise and one after sunset, when they break their fast.

“As the Ramadan month is due to start, authorities may be asked to provide food and medicine to them at appropriate times. Hence, I request you to instruct the authorities concerned to extend the best possible care for the quarantined/hospitalised individuals and also provide necessary medical assistance to those who are suffering from comorbid conditions,” the letter reads.

‘All complaints will be looked into’

While Chief Minister Kejriwal hasn’t officially reacted to the letter, a Delhi government official told ThePrint that all complaints regarding the facilities at local quarantine centres will be looked into.

“If the letter is citing some issues with the facilities, they will definitely have to be looked into. Every complaint needs to be taken seriously,” the official said.

Regarding the request for meals in accordance with Ramzan fasting rituals, the official said no decision had yet been made about it. “If you are in a quarantine facility and a potential Covid-19 patient, it’s best advisable to not fast as it could be detrimental to your health,” the official added.

“We need to extend the best possible care to everyone, that is for sure,” said the official.

Also read: How a Tablighi Jamaat meet in Nalanda in March has set off panic in Bihar


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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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