A suo motu case was filed against Bharatiya Janata Party MLA and former Tripura Health Minister Sudip Roy Barman on Sunday for unauthorised entry into a coronavirus care centre in Agartala, wearing personal protective equipment, NDTV reported. Barman visited the clinic after a pregnant patient posted videos on social media, showing lack of medical facilities there.
“The deplorable living conditions at the centre had moved me,” Barman claimed. “Whatever the reasons may be, strict monitoring is needed for the patients’ safety and comfort.” The MLA also distributed fruits to the patients at the Bhagat Singh Yuba Awas.
West Tripura District Magistrate Sandeep Mahatme N held Barman guilty of violation of guidelines set by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He said that only “authorised and trained persons or those designated to work in these areas” are allowed to enter the Covid-19 care centre.
The magistrate asked Barman to go into self-quarantine, but the legislator refused to do so. He alleged an ulterior motive, wondering why the magistrate’s order had reached the media before he got wind of it.
“Firstly, I ought to have been clinically assigned as very mild/mild, moderate, severe pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic Covid-19 patient by a medical officer for going into quarantine,” Barman told reporters. “Secondly, I had put on the PPE Kit advised by trained doctors posted at the Bhagat Singh Covid care centre and had taken all precautionary measures so that I don’t get contaminated and had maintained more than 1 metre of distance with patients.”
Barman added that his visit to the clinic was known to the Directorate of Health Services and the medical supervisor of GB Pant Hospital. “Since prior intimation had reached the persons concerned, that is the reason immediately after my arrival, the main gate was opened and the doctors present there took me to the changing room wherein the PPE [personal protective equipment] kit was given to me,” he claimed.
The MLA, a vocal critic of Chief Minister Biplab Deb and his government, had been sacked from the cabinet last year.
Tripura has so far recorded 3,675 cases of the coronavirus, including 28 deaths and 1,802 recoveries.