Four cases of health officials being attacked have been reported in Bihar, within 24 hours. Two of them took place in Bihar Sharif, the hometown of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The latest incident occurred last night, April 16.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar unlike his counterparts, has been silent so far. In states such as Maharashtra or Kerala, daily updates on the fight against coronavirus are announced by the respective Chief Ministers at times they also address the people.
According to an NDTV report, the state government had earlier launched its ambitious door-to-door screening in four districts -- Siwan, Begusarai, Nalanda and Nawada, which is when the attacks occurred. These regions have reported the maximum number of COVID-19 cases of the total in Bihar. As of April 17, Bihar has confirmed 83 COVID-19 cases, 37 patients have recovered and one died.
Siwan and Begusarai are the coronavirus hotspot in the state, marked as "Red Zones" according to the Ministry of Health list issued on April 15.
The Centre has recommended screening and door-to-door testing in such areas in order to zero-in on the asymptomatic patients and then follow the strict process of isolation and quarantine.
Other potential hotspots in the states are Nalanda and Nawada. COVID-19 cases in Nalanda were detected after a local Jamaat or Islamic religious gathering was held in mid-March. The health workers were asked to leave by the local residents when they arrived to do their duty.
On April 15, similar incidents were reported from Aurangabad and Motihari. Health workers who had gone to check on probable patients were chased off by villagers. Suspicion of the outbreak came after a local returned from Delhi.
Local mahadalits attacked some health workers, complaining about inadequate relief material they received, in the Harsidhi block of Motihari district.
Sanjay Kumar, the Principal Secretary of the Health Department has appealed to the people to maintain calm. State police chief Gupteswar Pandey said stern action will be taken against anyone found involved in such incidents.
In Moradabad, UP, a team of doctors and other medical staff were attacked on April 15, when they went to take primary contacts of a COVID-19 patient who died, to a quarantine facility. A police team escorting the doctors was also attacked. Doctors and police personnel were injured in the attack.
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