At a time when doctors and healthcare workers are needed the most and are being celebrated for their efforts towards fighting coronavirus, reports of medical staff being physically and verbally abused in India have emerged.
One such incident was highlighted on Twitter when a user posted a video of a man having a heated exchange with a female doctor.
The man allegedly hurled abuses and physically assaulted the doctor, according to Indian media reports.
While the neighbour alleged that he was concerned by the doctor's dog, Dr Sanjivani claimed that he asked her to leave the apartment due to coronavirus related concerns.
The clip was shared by user @srivatsayb, in which the man is seen shouting at and hurling abuses at the doctor. The man allegedly asked the doctor to “get out” of the apartment.
In the video the man is also seen physically attacking her several times.
According to a report by news magazine India Today, Dr Sanjivani works at Surat Civil Hospital, Gujarat, India.
The man is supposedly her neighbour who deemed Dr Sanjivani a threat to the community and unfit to live in the apartment complex because she might have contracted coronavirus.
"The hostility started on March 23, when the novel coronavirus outbreak registered in everybody's mind due to lockdown. I was stopped at the main gate and told by neighbours that I am on their hit list because I go to the hospital every day. This is not done, they said, if this continues, we will take action against you," Dr Sanjivani was quoted as saying by India Today.
The issue continued and the exchange, as seen in the video, happened between the neighbours and her on April 5.
"He [neighbour] said that I have novel coronavirus, and I will bring it inside the building. I did not give him a reply, which angered him. The video that has gone viral is of the next day evening," Dr Sanjivani said.
Additionally, in the clip, the man is heard complaining about the doctor’s dog.
"On Sunday, when I was about to leave my house to take out my dog, the man's wife started falsely accusing me that my dog has attacked her, so I started making the video. That's when the husband started hurling abuses at me, he told me what if you are doctor, I will kick you out of the building," the doctor was quoted as saying.
Social media users outraged
The clip quickly went viral online after being shared. Netizens expressed their dismay at the situation and spoke out against mistreatment of healthcare workers in India.
User @rupasubramanya tweeted: “India is probably only country on the planet I’m aware of where doctors working at the frontlines putting themselves at risk to save lives are harassed and threatened in their own homes by their neighbours. Not a one off episode. Such reports been coming in from all over India.”
Similarly, tweep @MOHAMMAD_Rocks wrote: “We need to find where he works and inform his employer this kind of people are disgrace. Every doctor is doing his job to protect by keeping their lives on the edge. Take some action against this guy.”
Abuse against doctors amid pandemic
This is not the first incident that has surfaced recently from India of medical staff being attacked.
Earlier this month, videos of medical professionals who went into a locality in Indore, getting pelted with stones went viral.
The attacks seem come from those who refuse to be tested and those who are afraid that professionals working in hospitals and medical facilities might be carriers of COVID-19.