Health workers in Bihar were attacked by villagers in four different districts of the state on Thursday during the door-to-door screening for the coronavirus, NDTV reported.
The attacks took place in Siwan, Begusarai, Nalanda and Nawada districts. These places account for 60% of the state’s cases, and Siwan and Begusarai have also been identified as coronavirus hotspots by the Centre. Meanwhile, Nalanda and Nawada are classified as potential hotspots. Bihar has 80 coronavirus cases with one death, according to the latest health ministry data.
Health officials were told to leave when they went to the affected areas.
Sanjay Kumar, the principal secretary of the state health department, urged people to maintain calm.
Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey said strict action will be taken against anyone found involved in such incidents, according to ANI. “If anyone misbehaves with health worker, medical officer, government employee, magistrate or police, we’ll take it very strictly,” he added. “Won’t spare them regardless of any approach they might have and any class, caste or religion they belong to. No discrimination.”
On Wednesday, similar incidents were reported from East Champaran district, according to The Hindu. At least nine officials were injured in an attack by a group of villagers. The officials, including local policemen, the block development officer and members of a medical team, had gone there to enforce lockdown as villagers gathered at a place over non-distribution of ration from Public Distribution System shops.
In Harsidhi block of Motihari district, locals allegedly roughed up health workers due to lack of relief materials. A three-member medical team and some policemen were allegedly attacked at Akauni village in Aurangabad district when they had gone there for screening of a resident who had come from outside.
Meanwhile, the Resident Doctors Association of All India Institute Of Medical Sciences urged Home Minister Amit Shah to ensure protection to healthcare workers during the pandemic. They pointed out seven instances where doctors were assaulted while they were on duty.