Doctor held for breaking Covid norms, later released on bail

Kurukshetra IMA extends support, threatens strike if charges not dropped

Doctor held for breaking Covid norms, later released on bail

Indian Medical Association members in Kurukshetra on Sunday.

Tribune News Service

Kurukshetra, May 2

A doctor, who had last month tested positive for Covid, was arrested today for allegedly breaking Covid guidelines when he went to the Deputy Commissioner’s camp office despite knowing his positive status, the police have said.

Wife alleges bias

Dr Lokender Goyal’s wife Dr Monika, who is a director of the hospital, alleged the district administration had acted in a biased manner towards them as they had filed a case of recovery of more than Rs2.5 crore pending against the state government in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Dr Lokender Goyal, owner of a private hospital in Kurukshetra, whose facility had been admitting Covid patients, was arrested after a case was registered against him under several provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Dr Goyal was produced before a Duty Magistrate here. However, he was later released on bail.

According to SHO, Kurukshetra, Davinder Walia, the arrest was made based on a complaint filed by Amrik Singh, personal assistant to the DC, on April 27.

In his complaint, Singh had alleged that Dr Goyal, who had tested Covid-positive a few days ago, had visited the DC’s camp office along with 25 to 30 relatives of some Covid patients under treatment at his hospital.

The complainant had alleged that the doctor forcibly entered the camp office by pushing the policeman on duty around 8.30 pm.

He raised a hue and cry that his hospital, which was handling 80 Covid patients, was left with oxygen for just about an hour.

However, an inquiry by the Chief Medical Officer found that oxygen was sufficient till 4 am the next day. As a result, Dr Goyal not only endangered the life of others having tested Covid-positive, but also created unnecessary panic among patients and their relatives, the complainant has alleged.

The district administration had banned the hospital from admitting Covid patients as it was found that Dr Goyal was treating Covid patients while his own report for the virus came out positive.

Dr Goyal’s wife Dr Monika, who is a director of the hospital, alleged the administration had acted in a biased manner towards them as they had filed a case of recovery of more than Rs 2.5 crore pending against the state government in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

She said the sum was incurred for the treatment of Covid patients sent by the government to their hospital in the first phase of the pandemic last year.

Dr Monika said the oxygen tanker purchased by the hospital from their vendor was allegedly detained by the police in Karnal on April 27 for more than 10 hours, forcing Dr Goyal to go personally to the DC’s camp office when his telephone calls did not bear any effect, and the life of the patients was endangered.

She alleged that later, the district administration fixed a daily medical oxygen quota of only one tonne per day against the requirement of four tonnes, which they were regularly getting from their private vendor earlier.

Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Kurukshetra, has come out in support of Dr Goyal and condemned the police action. It threatened to go on an indefinite strike if charges against the doctor were not dropped within a day.

“The police action will dent the morale of doctors. It is impossible to work in such intimidating circumstances,” the IMA said.

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