Other States

Coronavirus | Siwan doctor who wanted to rope in quacks to combat pandemic suspended

No civil surgeon in his right sense can issue such a letter which has undermined the efforts of State government in battling virus, says Bihar Principal Health Secretary

Siwan civil surgeon Ashesh Kumar was suspended for issuing an official letter to rope in services of Jhola Chhap doctors (quacks) to combat COVID-19 pandemic in the district. The screenshot of his controversial letter had gone viral on social media. The State’s Health department suspended him with immediate effect.

Taking serious note of the letter, the State health department on Wednesday suspended the civil surgeon with immediate effect and attached him to the office of the Special Secretary of the department in Patna. The department notification also rebuked him for acting “without seeking permission from higher officials.” “No civil surgeon in his right sense can issue such a letter which has undermined the efforts of the State government in battling COVID-19,” said Principal Health Secretary Sanjay Kumar. He said the Siwan civil surgeon’s action had tarnished the image of the Health department. “The letter written by him was against medical protocol too” he said.

On March 25, Dr. Ashesh Kumar had issued a letter to officials under his charge in the district to rope in “Jhola Chhap” doctors (quacks) along with private doctors in different blocks to utilise their services to combat COVID-19. The letter also asked officials and junior doctors to take the consent of all such Jhola Chhap doctors and private doctors for their training on March 26 before utilising their services. However, when his letter went viral on social media and invited ridicule, the Siwan civil surgeon took back his order on March 30 saying the “district programme manager had forged his signature on the letter.”

But, by then Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav had slammed the government while taking a potshot at the government’s initiative to fight COVID-19. “How can this government claim to fight coronavirus when it seeks services of Jhola Chhap doctors to combat the pandemic in districts?” asked Mr. Yadav while his father and RJD chief Lalu Prasad tweeted, “Jhola Chhap doctor, Corona and Bihar is equal to double engine sarkaar.”

Meanwhile, after four COVID-19 positives were detected in Siwan district on Tuesday night, the district administration has sealed nearly 30 villages under three blocks of Darauli, Hasanpura and Barharia to prevent the spread. The infected persons, though, had recent travel history to Gulf countries. Siwan district official Raman Kumar Sinha said village heads (mukhias), panchayat functionaries and ASHA workers and Jivika Didis had also been roped in for surveillance of those coming from outside in their areas.

However, at several places like Farhi village in Narpatganj block of Araria district, out of 32 people who were quarantined in the village government school after their homecoming from other places, 27 fled on Thursday morning ostensibly because of “lack of basic facilities at the school.” Reports of quarantined persons fleeing from local government schools and government buildings are coming in from others places too. Bihar so far has 24 positive cases of COVIOD-19 with one fatality.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 8:01:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-siwan-doctor-who-wanted-to-rope-in-quacks-to-combat-pandemic-suspended/article31242390.ece

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