Picture of the arrested accused in grey T-shirt Credit: EastMojo Image

Tinsukia: A 29-year son of a Covid-19 patient was arrested for assaulting the registrar of medicine of Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, Deepjyoti Saikia, after the death of his father in COVID ICU in Assam.

Ishaanjyoti Saikia, a resident of Bokakhat in Golaghat district, was camping at JMCH with his younger brother for treatment of his father Arun Saikia. His son alleged that his father was not getting proper treatment and got angry after the news of his death broke, sources said.

Saikia, a diabetic patient, was referred to JMCH on September 11 after he tested positive for Covid-19 and he lost the battle at 3.40 pm next day.

Responding to the tweet of Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, brother of the accused Ishar Jyoti Saikia, tweeted at 00.19 am on September 13: Dear Sir, sincere apology for the way we behaved. But, this had happened on the spur of the moment as we have lost our father today and became orphan neither we did it deliberately. My father is still lying in the morgue. We need to finish his last rites.

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Talking to this correspondent, additional superintendent of Jorhat police, who is in charge as SP, Prakash Sonowal said, the youth was held around 4.00 pm yesterday immediately after the incident took place outside COVID ICU in JMCH. “The police later arrested him following a police complaint lodged by the superintendent of JMCH.”

“The accused slapped doctor when he was informed about the death of his father,” added Sonowal. “We shall produce him before the court shortly,” officer-in-charge Ananta Das said, and added, “We shall allow him to attend his father’s funeral if he expresses his desire.”

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Superintendent of JMCH, doctor Purnima Barua said, initially the patient was not admitted in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as no bed was available in ICU when he was admitted on September 11. “However, his medication started as per Covid-19 protocol and the doctors were attending him regularly, even when the attendent called for a doctor everytime.”

“On September 12, an ICU bed became available and the patient was immediately shifted to ICU with drop in his oxygen saturation,” Barua said, adding, “The patient, who was diabetic, died due to cardiac arrest and when doctor Deepjyoti Saikia went to brief and explain the attendants, they got agitated and assaulted the doctor hurling false allegations.”

JMCH has 62 ICU beds out of which 33 ICU beds have been dedicated to Covid-19 patients. “Another 9 ICU and 9 semi ICU ancillary beds are available in old hospital building.”

Refuting the allegations, Barua said, the patient, who was on oxygen support, was administered all medicines as prescribed in the Covid-19 treatment protocol including diabetes medicine. It is on record.

According to allegations, the patient had called his son and informed that he is not being given oxygen and diabetes medicines.

Talking to this correspondent, deputy commissioner of Jorhat Roshani A Korati said, there has been an FIR lodged by JMCH and police has taken immediate action and arrested the accused. “A logical end to the case will act as an deterrent.”

“There are allegations of patient not given diabetes medicines and proper treatment. We are looking on both the issues,” she added.

Responding to a question, Korati said, “There is a full fledged police outpost at JMCH as doctors safety is paramount.”

The incident came on the backdrop of reports of increasing assaults on doctors across the country.

In September 2019, a 73-year-old doctor at a tea garden in Assam’s Jorhat district died, hours after he was beaten up by workers at the estate.

In 2018, over 80 interns at JMCH went on a strike for am hour after one of their colleagues was assaulted by the driver of the then deputy commissioner of Jorhat. EOM

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