Coronavirus (342) BBC: India coronavirus doctors 'spat at and attacked'

4 April, 2020

In the past 5 years we have seen increasing attacks (and murders) on polio vaccination teams and Ebola workers. Sadly we are now seeing attacks on coronavirus workers... The human cost of misinformation knows no limits.

We stand in solidarity with all those who work on the front line of health care.

Extracts below. Read in full here:


Several healthcare workers in India have been attacked as they battle to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Reports say doctors have been spat at and chased away from homes, and that in one case patients directed abusive and vulgar language towards female nurses.

Some physicians and their families have also been ostracised by their neighbours because of their exposure to patients infected with Covid-19...

One video, which has gone viral, showed a mob throwing stones at two female doctors wearing personal protective equipment in the central city of Indore.

The doctors had gone to a densely-populated area to check on a woman suspected of having Covid-19 when they came under attack.

Despite being injured, one of the doctors seen in the video, Zakiya Sayed, said the incident "won't deter me from doing my duty".

"We were on our usual round to screen suspected cases," she told the BBC. "We never thought that we would be attacked."

"I had never seen scenes like that. It was frightening. We somehow fled from the mob. I am injured but not scared at all."...

One doctor, who did not wish to be identified, said she felt "extremely disheartened when I learnt that even my neighbours think that me and my family shouldn't be allowed to live in the building".

"We want our families to be safe. But we are being discriminated for doing our job."...

"Seeing this open discrimination just breaks my heart. But we will go on because there is really no other option."


Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Information for Citizens, Parents and Children

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: