The Karnataka Police on Thursday arrested three persons on charges of manhandling an Accredited Social Health Activist, or Asha, worker engaged in collecting data about the coronavirus in Bengaluru, ANI reported. Several states are identifying and tracing people linked to a religious event held at the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month, after dozens of them began testing positive for Covid-19 in parts of the country in recent days.
Krishnaveni, an Asha worker, posted a video on social media saying that a group of health workers who had gone to Hegde Nagar in Bengaluru were “gheraoed” by some residents, abused and their mobile phones snatched.
“When we visited Sadiq Layout in Saraipalya, a man asked who we were,” she said in Kannada. “We said we are here to gather information about the coronavirus. Immediately, he asked us to leave the place and said no information would be provided.” Krishnaveni said that more people soon started yelling at the health workers that no information would be provided.
The health worker she had never experienced such a situation in the five years of her career. Krishnaveni added that the people of the locality also refused to tell whether any of them had any symptoms of the coronavirus.
Bengaluru Commissioner of Police Bhaskar Rao said he has appointed Pulikeshi Nagar Additional Commissioner of Police Tabarak Fathima to investigate the matter, ANI reported. “A case will be registered and action will be taken,” he said, according to ANI. “Asha workers will be protected by the police to carry out their functions.”
Condemning the incident, Health Minister B Sriramulu tweeted: “The doctors, nurses and health workers who toil day and night are like Gods. Respect them. Will not sit idle if they are attacked. Beware!”
At least seven people who attended the gathering have died – one from Kashmir and six from Telangana. A case has been registered against the mosque administration.
Several state governments are tracing and identifying all those who attended the gathering. A large number of people in different states have already been placed in quarantine as a precautionary measure. All occupants of the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in Nizamuddin were evacuated on Wednesday, after three-and-a-half days of effort.
As many as 1,965 Covid-19 infections have been detected in India so far, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As many as 50 people have died.