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Covid-19 frontliners involved in rape cases;Kerala shocked

Two rape cases point fingers at two healthcare workers under the state government.Both the cases shocked the Kerala society.It is high time the state government take strict monitoring while dealing Covid-19 patients,writes Rinitha CP

Amidst the struggle with the pandemic and great war with the COVID 19 virus a news from Pathanamthitta shakes people around the state as an 108 Ambulance driver sexually harrasses a 19 year old Covid positive patient on the way to the hospital.
The incident took place in Pathanamthitta on Saturday, 5th September, at night. The accused, identified as Naufal of Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district. The driver was taking two women in the ambulance to two different hospitals after they had been tested positive. The victim was being taken from Adoor to the COVID care center at Pandalam. After the other woman was dropped, the driver took the girl to an isolated ground at Aranmula and raped her in the ambulance engaged by the Kerala Health Department through a private agency.
After the incident, the driver took her to the COVID care center where the girl complained to the authorities. She was physically examined and it was clear that she had been raped. Naufal was arrested by the Police on Sunday. Furthermore, the accused has a criminal background including cases of murder attempts in his name.
The health minister KK Shailaja declared that she has directed the GVK Company, the operational partner of State Health Department’s 108 Ambulance Service to dismiss the driver from his position. She expressed her shock on hearing such an incident and stated that she has directed the police to take maximum action against this deed of the culprit.
According to her, the Institute has also been instructed to hire people with police clearance certificate to work in ambulances. She also stated that The agency informed that Naufal was hired considering his prior experience in driving.
The Pathanamthitta district police chief KG Simon, stated that the accused was immediately arrested and all the evidences against him have been collected. The National Commission for Women sought a report from Kerala state police chief on the incident, and the Kerala Women’s Commission also registered a case against this incident.
Despite of the actions taken, this news remains to be a shock for the public as now the so called Covid Warriers cannot be even trusted. The Bharatiya Janata Party state president K Surendran, demanded the resignation of the health minister for she has the responsibility of the patients.
The Muslim League leader MK Muneer accused the government of its ignorance towards the safety of the people of the state in his Facebook post.
He stated that the government has completely failed to provide care to the COVID positive patient. He questioned the the fact that the government is having a private company deal with the functioning of the government’s health sector. How can such companies hire people having criminal backgrounds. He asked why wasn’t the so called”Covid Brigade” sent along with the driver and why was the girl being picked up at midnight at the first place. He also asked that Why did the government not take action despite complaints of alcohol and drug smuggling in 108 ambulances. During a time, where people are being isolated by the society for having a Desease, a girl has to experience rape. He blames the government as this is solely the responsibility of their own.
There has been similar cases in Delhi and Rajasthan where patients were sexually assaulted in the quarantine fecility. These kind if cases question the humanity of such people who are willing to do such deeds when mankind is going through a very difficult time. The government should be able to provide the patients with utmost security during this hard time. The large amount of people working in the health sector have to be chosen wisely. The security of women, availability of a nurse in the ambulance or even a volunteer might ensure the safety of patients. All we can say is that all these happenings are lessons that point out problems that have been neglected by the authorities and should only lead to the improvement of future functioning.

A Kerala health inspector has been arrested on charges of raping a 44-year-old nurse who had approached him for a coronavirus-negative certificate, police said.This is the second incident of rape case in Kerala amid Covid-19 pandemic.

The woman had been ordered to go into quarantine last month after she returned home to the state capital from north Kerala where she was working as a home nurse. She had tested negative after the two-week quarantine but she needed the negative certificate to return to work as a nurse. As reported by the police, when she approached the junior health inspector after her quarantine period was over, he insisted that she meet him at his house in Thiruvananthapuram district’s Pangode. According to her complaint, when she went, he forced her to spend the day with him and raped her. She alleged that he threatened to tell the police that she had jumped quarantine if she didn’t comply. He also assaulted her.

These two incidents shocked the entire Kerala,where majority of health care workers work hard to fight Covid-19,spending days and nights,dedicating themselves.

These incidents send  alert signals that  the government must be awaken to take acre of people in the state,especially during the pandemic.Safety of women is one of the declared slogans of the LDF government.

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