Cairo: A Saudi nurse, who was subjected to a physical attack while on duty, has vowed to overcome her shock and allow nothing “to break me”.
A viral video showed the nurse being dragged by a man on the floor of the hospital in Asir region in south-western Saudi Arabia, sparking massive anger and calls for punishment against the assaulter.
The nurse, named Salma Al Shehiri, said she was working in the sorting area where patients’ temperatures and blood pressure are measured at the hospital in Al Majaridah governorate on Thursday when the man went berserk and attacked her.
“On that day, my work was inside that site. [But] when there were no patients inside the sorting area, I would help my colleague in the men’s department where they were a large number of patients,” she said in a phone-in interview with Rotana Khalijia TV.
“While working on a patient’s papers, I was stunned when a person hysterically hit me on the shoulder while barking at me to remove a feeding needle. I did not know what patient or feeding needle he was talking about,” she recalled.
Al Shehri said the man repeatedly hit her and when she fell on the ground, he dragged her from the sorting area to the men’s department much to shock of all those were present.
“My family, relatives and work colleagues were shocked after the attack video spread. They sympathised with me because the situation was awful,” she said.
According to her, the assailant is a university-educated man and not psychologically troubled. “I'm still in shock ... I’ll return stronger than before and will not allow anything to break me,” she said.
The man is seen in the video dragging the woman on the floor as others try to stop him. The suspect, identified as a Saudi, was arrested later and referred to prosecution, police said.
Commenting on the incident, the Saudi Health Ministry said that verbal or physical attacks on health practitioners is punishable by law.
Penalties include a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of SR1 million, the ministry added.