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Kerala on Thursday witnessed protests by the doctors at Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram districts of the state over healthcare workers on COVID duty being allegedly threatened and manhandled.

The doctors at District hospital in the Mavelikkara area of Alappuzha district, under Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) led the protest on Thursday alleging the inaction of police over an incident where a junior consultant surgeon Dr. Rahul Mathew was assaulted by a COVID patent’s relative on May 14.

According to the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association, the accused in the case was a police trainee, and his mother, a COVID patient was brought dead to the hospital.

“My duty is from 8 am to 8 pm. But if any patient comes, we extend our service to patients as part of humanity and work ethics. On May 14, I was on ward duty when a COVID patient was brought to the hospital. On examining the woman, she was declared as brought dead. On informing the relatives, they started to abuse me and the other staff on duty. Later, son of the patient barged into my room and brutally assaulted me,” Rahul Mathew told ANI.
Speaking about the post-trauma, he said, “Every time I treat patients after it, the incident keeps lingering on my mind. Health professionals should not be pushed into such a situation. At this time of pandemic when health professionals are overstretched at least, they should be safe at the workplace.”

Dr Manjusha, a doctor at the same hospital said that growing incidents of violence against doctors and health workers during the COVID pandemic should stop.

“We are all working for the people in an infectious environment, putting our life and of our family members at risk. People, in general, should understand it and desist from violent behaviour towards health professionals,” she said.
Meanwhile, the protest in Thiruvananthapuram was led by Indian Medical Association (IMA) after Dr. Swapna S Kumar, an assistant surgeon at the Panavoor Family Health Center in Nedumangad area, and other health workers were allegedly obstructed and threatened by a group led by the panchayat president.

According to IMA, the incident took place last Saturday, when a group of people, led by the panchayat president, approached the doctor asking her to vaccinate some people who were not registered on the portal in connection with the COVID vaccination.

“The doctor informed them that this request was practically impossible after which they vent their anger at the doctor. The incident has shattered the morale of doctors who risked their lives to work during the pandemic,” said IMA Thiruvananthapuram branch president Dr Prashanth CV. (ANI)