On Sunday, Indians took to their balconies and streets at 5 pm to collectively commemorate the dedication and hard work of public health workers in containing treating the coronavirus pandemic. However, a day since, several stories of harassment faced by doctors have surfaced on social media.
Even as doctors and frontline health workers continue to provide 24-hour support to hospitals, several doctors have taken to social media to narrate how they are being discriminated against in their housing complex or rented flats. According to a message that has been going viral on WhatsApp, a government doctor was asked to stay away from his housing complex since he had been working with COVID-19 patients.
Yet another doctor by the name of Sanjibani Panigrahi claimed she had faced similar harassment and threats from her society.
So many incidents are coming to light of sincere govt doctors who are now being threatened to enter their own homes! Please look seriously into this matter@narendramodi sir. Regards, A govt doctor. pic.twitter.com/MmLHZejsjf — Dr.Devashish (@DevPalkar) March 23, 2020
I'm myself a govt. doctor being threatened by my Society. Please help @narendramodi sir. @PMOIndia @ZeeNews https://t.co/NHQoQDMOaY — Sanjibani Panigrahi (@DrSanjibani) March 23, 2020
Similar incidents were reported from Telanagana where doctors were asked to vacate their homes by landlords for fear that they would make the premises "dirty". Many feared that resident doctors working with COVID-19 cases would further spread the virus to others. On Facebook, a doctor wrote that several medical students and resident doctors in Warangal had been rendered homeless as their landlords had kicked them out.
@AnantBhan @SKThakur56 @bhalomanush @BharatPronam @RemaNagarajan This was the same thing the Director of @AIIMSBhubaneswr was appealing to the Landlords & public the other day, not to harass the Resident Doctors. cc: @UnitedRda@arunbothra@narendramodi@drharshvardhan 👇 pic.twitter.com/qvLbhhZ0Ed — 🇮🇳 Dr D Datta 🇮🇳; MD (Anatomy) (@ddatta16) March 24, 2020
It's really concerning to see tweets that say ppl r asking young doctors to vacate their rented flats. So the clapping thing for the Healthcare & other essential services was just superficial?!! Society should be ashamed of treating the ones risking their lives as untouchables. — Doctor Outsider (@QuirkySeelie) March 24, 2020
The incidents come just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on the nation to commemorate health workers and doctors, many of whom are struggling day and night and often without the proper protective gear or necessary precautions, to help the nation survive one of the biggest healthcare emergencies India has ever seen. Meanwhile, the death toll from COVID-19 has been on the rise in India with ten people losing their lives to the virus.