A frontline health worker in Andhra Pradesh was forced to spend hours in the rain after her landlord and neighbours evicted her from her home, with her husband testing positive for coronavirus. In a video recorded to appeal for help from authorities, the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) is seen sitting at the steps in front of a locked house while it is raining. “Everyone on the street is harassing me. Where should I go? Where should I stay? I was evicted at night. I am tired of making phone calls for help. Please do justice to me,” she said in the video.
The woman lamented that she was forced to stay outdoors as it rained through the night. The incident occurred in Rajahmundry, and police officials intervened soon after the video of her plight went viral on Thursday.
The woman works as an ANM in Burrilanka village of Kadiam mandal in East Godavari districts. In the video, she says that after her husband tested positive for coronavirus, they came home on Wednesday so he could be under home quarantine. As her neighbours and landlord of their rented house did not allow this, she then took her husband to a quarantine centre in Bommuru, she said.
However, even when she returned alone on Wednesday night, she was not allowed to enter the house. She then tried to enter her own house nearby, which was still under construction according to reports, but said she was not allowed to enter by the residents of that street either.
According to Deccan Chronicle, the Rajahmundry Urban police intervened and counselled the people living on her street to not discriminate against people because of COVID-19. Stating that many police officials have also contracted the disease, a police official was seen telling the neighbours, “Just because we get it (COVID-19) doesn’t mean something terrible will happen. Ostracising her is a much bigger threat for her.”
The police also reportedly booked the neighbours who stopped the woman from entering her house under sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Watch the ANM's appeal to authorities seeking help