Despite the proven efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine hesitancy has been a growing problem leading to many incidents of misconduct against doctors and healthcare workers. In another such case, a medical team that was sent to Malikhedi village under Unhel tehsil of the Ujjain district in Madhya Pradesh to create awareness about COVID-19 vaccination was attacked on May 24 (Monday).
MP: A medical team that was in Malikhedi village of Ujjain to create awareness about #COVID19 vaccination, was attacked. One person injured after being hit on head.— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2021
Police say, “Some villagers verbally abused them & hit the husband of Asst Secy on head. FIR registered against 4” pic.twitter.com/k1K2bIAnh1
Following the incident, the Ujjain police registered an FIR against 4 people. Two persons were later arrested in this connection, Additional Superintendent of Police Akash Bhuria told the media.
A video of the incident was also shared on social media wherein the healthcare workers were seen fleeing after the ruckus created by some people at Malikhedi village. The user claimed that the assaulters verbally abused and assaulted the medical team, injuring two members including an additional Tehsildar in the attack.
Growing resistance towards COVID vaccination turns violent in rural MP. Team led woman tehsildar for vaccination awareness in Ujjain district’s Malikhedi village attacked by Pardi caste people. A team member sustained head injury. @NewIndianXpress @khogensingh1 @gsvasu_TNIE pic.twitter.com/SYX152HxhD— Anuraag Singh (@anuraag_niebpl) May 24, 2021
Medical team visited the village in Ujjain to dispel the rumours and myth surrounding the vaccines
Additional Superintendent of Police Akash Bhuria confirmed that the health personnel had visited the village earlier too. The locals were not ready to take the vaccine shots compelling the team to return. On Monday morning, the health personnel went back to the village. They were trying to dispel the rumours and myth surrounding the vaccines and encouraging the sceptical locals to be a part of the inoculation drive when some villagers allegedly attacked the husband of a woman panchayat office-bearer, who was part of the medical team.
According to sources, rumours have spread in villages especially among illiterate residents that people are dying because of vaccine.
The ASP said that two arrests have been made so far and efforts are on to identify the others who were involved in the incident. Additional police force has been deployed in the village to avert any untoward incident, he furthered.
Violence against healthcare workers on the rise since the first phase of the pandemic
Despite their dedication and hard work to limit the spread of the Chinese pandemic,, frontline workers, doctors, medical and nursing staffs have been on the receiving end of violence ever since the pathogen started wreaking havoc in India last year. Multiple attacks on medical staff and health care workers were reported during the first phase of the pandemic as well.
There had been reports of Tablighi Jamaat members molesting nurses in UP, defecating in corridors in Delhi and even spitting at the healthcare workers. The Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin has emerged as a hot spot contributing to approximately 30% of coronavirus cases in India.
Instances of violent attacks against healthcare workers were reported from Madhya Pradesh’ Indore and Karnataka’s Bengaluru too.
Modi govt brings ordinance to end violence against healthcare workers
In a significant measure to stop the attacks against the healthcare workers in the country, Modi Government had in April last year brought an ordinance to end violence against health workers. The new ordinance had provisions to punish the assaulters with imprisonment from 6 months to 7 years.
President Ram Nath Kovind had approved The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 on April 24, 2020, which made attacks on healthcare personnel or their property, including their living and working premises, cognizable, non-bailable offences. The ordinance also included provisions for compensation for injury and damages in such cases.