After outrage over the incident, the Madhya Pradesh government had slapped the stringent National Security Act against the attackers. (Photo Credit: ANI/Twitter)
As India continues its battle against coronavirus pandemic, disturbing visuals aired on news channels on Sunday that showed angry mob attacking medical workers, doctors in Madhya Pradesh's Indore. The crowd was pelting stones on the health officials, who had gone in the area to screen the coronavirus suspects. After outrage over the incident, the Madhya Pradesh government had slapped the stringent National Security Act against the attackers. As many as six local residents were arrested for their alleged role in the attack against the doctors. Now a media report says that the real reason behind the attack was a fake WhatsApp video message. (Coronavirus Outbreak Live Updates)
According to 'The Indian Express', a fake WhatsApp message had gone viral in Indore's Tatpatti Bakhal area. The report says that the fake WhatsApp had claimed that the health workers were targetting healthy Muslim individuals. The message claimed that Muslims were being forcefully taken away and injected with coronavirus. It was only after the message went viral that the area saw resistance against the health workers. The doctors visiting the area had also said that initially locals were answering the questions and there was no problem.
Trouble started only after some time and the anger grew so much that the medical staff was chased away by the mob. "We'd been working on screening of contacts for last 4 days. But what we saw y'day we'd not seen earlier.We sustained injuries but we have to do our job and will not be scared," Dr Zakiya Sayed who was pelted with stones by locals was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. As of April 2nd data, 14 more people have tested positive for coronavirus in Indore, taking the total number of cases to 89 in the city.
Health experts say that those who returned from Dubai are the reason for sudden surge. Not just Indore, attacks on health workers were reported from various cities such as Munger in Bihar, Hyderabad, Solapur in Maharashtra, Bangalore and a locality in West Bengal.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 50,000 people worldwide with nearly three-quarters of the deaths in Europe, according to an AFP tally at 1750 GMT Thursday using official figures. A total of 51,364 deaths have been recorded across the world, including 37,709 in Europe, with Italy registering 13,915, followed by Spain with 10,003, France with 5,387 and the United States with 5,316. Since the virus emerged in China in December, 989,281 global infections have been confirmed, more than half of them in Europe, which has 542,077. The United States and Canada have 235,900 cases and 5,427 deaths and Asia has 112,061 cases with 3,998 deaths.