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India's Covid doctors demand action after attacks
Idea shared by ritcha filterfar - July 6 at 9:34 AM
Proposed
Dr Seuj Kumar Senapati vividly remembers the afternoon in early June he thought he would die.
It was his first job and his second day at work at a Covid care centre in Hojai district, in India's north-eastern state of Assam.
He was asked to check on a patient who had been admitted that morning. When he did, he found him unresponsive.
The patient's family was furious when he told them the man had died. In moments, Dr Senapati recalled, all hell broke loose. He said they started hurling chairs around the room, breaking windows and abusing staff.
Dr Senapati ran for cover, but soon more people joined the family and they found him.
A horrific video of the attack shows a group of mostly men kicking Dr Senapati and hitting him on the head with a bedpan - then they drag him outside and continue to beat him. Dr Senapati, bloodied and shirtless, can be heard howling in pain and fear.
"I thought I wouldn't survive," he said.
 
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Since the start of the pandemic in India last year, several doctors have been attacked by families of Covid patients. The recurring complaint: their loved ones weren't treated properly or weren't allotted a bed on time.
Doctors have protested and gone on strike demanding stricter laws, as well as more staffing and better infrastructure to relieve the pressure on them.
Hospitals too are ill-prepared. When Dr Senapati was being attacked, no-one came to his rescue because the remaining staff were also being beaten up or hiding. A lone guard was helpless against the mob.
"My clothes were torn, my gold chain was snatched and my mobile phone and spectacles were smashed. But after about twenty minutes, I managed to escape," Dr Senapati said.
He drove straight to the local police station and registered a complaint. The video of the attack, which has since been shared on social media, caused a furore. The state government promised swift action and 36 people, including three minors, have been charged for the assault.

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