ASHA workers attacked, heckled, abused during COVID-19 awareness drive in Bengaluru
According to reports, the announcement was made from a mosque after which over 100 Muslims gathered and stopped ASHA workers from collecting information of suspected coronavirus patients in Bengaluru
Bengaluru: In a shocking incident, ASHA workers engaged in conducting coronavirus survey in certain minority-dominated areas in Bengaluru were allegedly manhandled on Thursday, prompting the Karnataka government to issue a stern warning to the offenders.
A nurse and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers along with health officials have been attacked by Muslim residents in Bengaluru’s Sadiq layout for trying to carry out tests on suspected corona symptomatic patients and also for collecting information of those suffering from fever and cough in the locality.
The ASHA workers were conducting a door-to-door survey in the minority dominated areas in view of the virus spreading through those, who returned to the state after attending a religious congregation in Delhi. A peeved ASHA worker, Krishnaveni, in a video message which has gone viral, alleged that a group of health workers, who had gone to Hegde Nagar in the city were ''gheraoed'' by some residents, their mobile phones were snatched and all of them were abused.
With tears welling up in her eyes, Krishnaveni said she has been carrying out the survey for the past 10 days to spread awareness, gather information and educate people on ways to deal with COVID-19. "When we visited Sadiq Layout in Saraipalya (Hegde Nagar), a man enquired about me. We said we are here to gather information about coronavirus. Immediately, he asked us to leave the place and said no information would be provided," she said.
Soon, people started yelling at the health workers' team and asked them to leave. "They snatched our bags and mobile phones. They did not let us make a phone call. I have been working for the past five years but never have I ever faced a situation like this. They are not even disclosing whether they have any symptoms," Krishnaveni added.
Condemning the incident, Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu shared the video in his Twitter handle and said, "The doctors, nurses and health workers who toil day and night are like Gods. Respect them. Will not sit idle if they are attacked. Beware!"
Meanwhile, deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayan visited Krishnaveni's residence and inquired about her health. Karnataka minister for woman and child welfare, Shashikala Jolle too condemned the incident, saying the state government will not tolerate any such indiscipline.