The health official who had given a COVID-19 vaccine to Karnataka Agriculture Minister BC Patil and his wife at their residence in violation of vaccination norms has been suspended. However, there has been no action taken against the Minister who made the health officials come to his residence to give him the vaccine shot.
In the order issued on March 26, Health and Family Welfare Commissioner Dr K V Thrilok Chandra said he has suspended Dr ZR Makhandar, the Taluk Health Officer of Hirekerur in Haveri district from government service pending inquiry for dereliction of duty. The order said that despite repeated training and instructions, the vaccine was given to the minister at his residence.
The health official has been directed not to leave the work place without prior permission till the inquiry is completed. The minister took the jab on March 2 at his residence, a day after the people above 60 years of age and people above 45 years with comorbidities were permitted to take vaccines.
After taking the shot, Minister BC Patil posted the photograph on his Twitter handle drawing widespread criticism for violation of norms. According to protocol, eligible citizens have to go to a government or private health centre to get vaccinated. Many social media users and even the Congress party had questioned the special treatment given to the minister. Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar too expressed his displeasure over the violation of norms.
The Union Health Ministry had asked for a report from the Karnataka government after BC Patil got vaccinated at home. At the time, responding to a media question, Rajesh Bhushan, the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, told the media during the press briefing: "This is not allowed in the protocol. It has come to our notice, we have asked for a report from the Karnataka government."
With PTI inputs