Doctors in India are being attacked by people who lost loved ones supposedly due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). These people have lashed out at the doctors and blamed them for the deaths of their relatives as the country’s healthcare system teetered on the verge of collapse.
In one shocking incident that occurred on Tuesday, April 27, in the capital region of Delhi, one family attacked doctors, nurses and other hospital staff at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, located in the city’s southeast. This family was enraged after one of their loved ones died of COVID-19 before even getting a bed at the hospital’s intensive care unit.
The patient, a 62-year-old woman, was brought to the Indraprastha Apollo early on Tuesday morning. She died a few hours later while waiting in the hospital’s emergency area for an ICU bed. (Related: New Delhi records highest ever single-day tally of 357 “coronavirus” deaths that are most likely caused by dangerous vaccines.)
By 9 a.m., several members of this family gathered outside Indraprastha Apollo. In a video of the incident, the family members could be seen charging at and attacking hospital staff with sticks.
Law enforcement officials who responded to the incident said the fighting resulted in some property damage, as well as minor injuries for several hospital employees.
Pictures have circulated on social media showing the damage done by the altercation. These pictures show blood spatters on the floor, broken glass, damaged walls and broken furniture.
Indraprastha Apollo Hospital’s Vice President of Operations and Communications Dr. Karan Thakur said the incident forced the hospital to shut down its emergency department and coronavirus triage area for at least two hours.
Thakur informed local media that seven to eight hospital employees were injured including at least one doctor and several members of the hospital’s security staff. None of the injured staff were seriously hurt.
Thakur said several members of the family who assaulted the hospital staff were also injured after they broke the glass in the doors of the hospital’s main entrance. “They had cuts on their hand,” he said.
“We understand the family is going through a lot. They have lost someone. We understand how they are feeling. We didn’t want to file a complaint,” said Thakur. “Our only appeal is that, please appreciate we are doing the best. We need everyone’s support.”
Hospital incident not the first time grieving family attacked healthcare workers due to COVID-19
In a statement, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital acknowledged that it received a woman who was in critical condition in the emergency department during the early hours of Tuesday.
“Immediate medical attention appropriate to her condition was given by the team,” reads the hospital’s statement. “Given the paucity of beds, the family was advised to shift the patient to another facility with available beds. Unfortunately, the patient died around 8 a.m., post which the patient’s family members resorted to vandalism, destruction of hospital property and assault on our doctors and staff.”
Indraprastha Apollo added that the situation was immediately resolved by the hospital’s security staff with the help of the Delhi police.
“While the hospital deeply consoles the death of the patient, it is deeply shocked at the behavior of the patient’s family against doctors and healthcare workers who are providing untiring services amidst the pandemic.”
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) for South East Delhi said that neither the family of the victim nor the hospital has filed a complaint with regards to the incident. The DCP also said this was the first such incident of a COVID-19 patient’s family attacking healthcare staff this year within the region.
Outside of Delhi, there have been multiple recorded violent incidents wherein doctors and other healthcare workers were assaulted by people who have lost loved ones supposedly due to COVID-19.
In the city of Pune in the western state of Maharashtra, between 15 to 20 members of one family attacked healthcare workers after a 65-year-old man died of COVID-19. Footage of the incident went viral in India, and one young doctor was assaulted with a metal pipe.
Several days after the incident in Maharashtra and right before the attack at Indraprastha Apollo, the High Court of Delhi ordered the Delhi police to assign detachments to protect hospitals in the region in view of the possible deterioration of the law and order situation in the area. Hospital administrators can simply request the presence of Delhi police in times of need.
“You never know how people will react when their near and dear ones are concerned,” said a spokesperson for the High Court.
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