A team of doctors and health workers were attacked with stones in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, while they were on their way to pick the family members of a Covid-19 patient, and shift them to a quarantine facility, The Hindustan Times reported.

Three persons, including a doctor and a pharmacist suffered injuries in the attack, Moradabad’s Chief Medical Officer Dr SP Garg told the newspaper. Police personnel who had escorted the medical team to the area were also injured.

The incident occured at the Haji Neb Masjid area, where a Covid-19 patient had died a few days ago and doctors were trying to quarantine his immediate contacts. “A medical and police team came here. When the family members were boarding ambulances, a crowd of around 150 people came and started throwing stones,” Amit Pathak, a senior police officer in Moradabad, told NDTV. “A police car and ambulance are damaged [in the attack]. We will identify the culprits and act against them,” the officer added.

The driver of the ambulance, who was also injured in the attack, told ANI that a crowd of people “suddenly gathered” and started throwing stones at the medical teams. “Some doctors are still there in the area. We were injured in the attack,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath ordered the invoking of the National Security Act against the assaulters for harassing the medical staff. Any loss to public property will also be recovered from the violators, he said. The Act allows the accused to be detained without trial for three months, a period which can be extended.

Doctors assaulted in Delhi hospital

Meanwhile, doctors at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in Delhi requested for deployment of police in all Covid-19 wards after a group of patients allegedly abused and assaulted them, NDTV reported. They also demanded that a case be registered against the patients.

In a letter to hospital management, the Resident Doctors Association at LNJP Hospital said that a patient suspected to have Covid-19 abused and made obscene remarks at a female resident doctor on Tuesday evening. When other staff members tried to come to her defence, the patient called others and “ganged up on the doctors”.

Afraid of being attacked, the doctors scurried and hid in the duty room, from where they called the security officials. However, security guards refused to enter the Covid-19 ward out of fear of catching the infection, and came in only after they were given personal protective equipment.

“It is pertinent to mention that the patients particularly those transferred from Markaz [the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area], are creating a law and order problem and commotion in the hospital which is becoming very difficult for the hospital staff to handle,” the letter claimed. “Therefore it is requested that adequate Police force i.e. at least 40 police personnel [round-the clock] may please be deployed for the safety of Doctors, Nursing and paramedical staff.”

The doctors also sought disciplinary action against senior doctors and security officials who did not act in time.