UP: COVID positive Doctor booked after patient alleges sexual harassment in isolation ward
Noida: A doctor admitted at a private hospital in Noida has been booked based on the complaint filed by a female patient accusing him of sexually harassing her in an isolation ward, where both were undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
According to a recent media report, the doctor, who is a consultant for pulmonary medicine at the hospital, and the patient were sharing the same isolation ward in the hospital. The patient and the doctor had tested positive for coronavirus last week.
The 20-year-old woman, in her complaint to the police, alleged that the incident took place on Monday and based on that a case was filed at the local expressway police station.
As quoted by TOI, the patient alleged that the doctor tried to become friendly with her from the first day itself, telling her that he had contacts in almost all hospitals across NCR. "He would often flaunt how he knew everyone in the hospital. He even told me he had a daughter, which made me believe he was a family man and could do no harm. However, two days ago, I got really tired after a 40-minute walk and he offered to check if I had developed a clot in my legs. He pressed my legs that day," she said. As both were slated to be discharged from the hospital in a few days, the doctor allegedly told the woman he needed to check her again for post-COVID symptoms. "He claimed that blood clotting was one of the symptoms for COVID and he could check me for that. He touched me inappropriately and molested me," she alleged, quotes TOI
As the woman felt uncomfortable, she called up a relative — also a doctor — and asked her if a COVID patient indeed needed to be checked in the manner that the doctor did. "My relative told me there was no need for him to do any such thing," she said. The woman then informed her brother, who arrived at the hospital and called police, adds TOI.
"The woman was in the isolation ward of the private hospital. There was a man, a medical practitioner, who too was infected with coronavirus and was sharing the ward with her," Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Noida, Ranvijay Singh informed PTI adding that the woman alleged molestation and upon being informed, the police immediately lodged a case and initiated a probe into the matter.
Yogesh Malik, the SHO, informed TOI that an FIR had been registered against the doctor under IPC Section 354 (assault or use of criminal force on a woman to outrage her modesty).
A senior police official said an investigation is underway and there might be lapses on part of the hospital which allegedly admitted a man and a woman in the same isolation ward, in violation of the norms. "There appears to be some irresponsibility on part of the hospital too. We are communication with the medical departments to check whether the patients were being kept in accordance with the guidelines," Mr Singh said. He said the accused is still in isolation but the police will reach out for his statement following due protocols of COVID-19.
"All necessary action will be taken as per the truth that will emerge after a thorough investigation," Mr Singh said.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the hospital claimed the doctor was working part-time with them for the past six months. "He has been with us for six months as a part-time doctor... As far as the woman's complaint about sharing the ward with a man is concerned, the arrangement is similar in other hospitals too," he said.