A masked woman alights an empty bus parked at a bus stand in Kerala. Awaiting her outside, are two health care workers in COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), an ambulance and police officials. Several onlookers too are seen standing at a distance from the bus
As soon as she steps out, the health officials approach her and attempt to shift the woman to the waiting ambulance and take her to a hospital. However they are met with stiff resistance as the woman even slaps one of the health workers.
The incident described above took place in Kottaramattom bus stand in Kottayamâ€™s Pala town. It has now gone viral on social media and many users have claimed that the woman was a â€śCOVID-19 patient who was found missing from her house and instead spotted in a bus in Pala, creating panic.â€ť
Some users even demanded that she should be arrested for assaulting COVID-19 healthcare staff.
TNM spoke to authorities in Pala who confirmed that the social media posts were unfounded and said that this was not the case.
Speaking to TNM, Dr Anju C Mathew, Superintendent of the Pala General Hospital said that the woman in the video was a migrant worker and not a patient who had tested positive for the coronavirus. The senior doctor also said that the woman was found to be living with mental health issues.
â€śWe were alerted about this woman a few days ago by locals, who found her roaming near a bus stand in Pala. Immediately, health workers from Pala General Hospital and officers from the Pala Police Station reached the spot and shifted her to our hospital,â€ť Dr Anju added.
On reaching the hospital, she was found to exhibit no symptoms of COVID-19.
â€śTherefore, for expert consultation we referred her to doctors in Kottayam Medical College hospital. She is currently admitted at the Kottayam Medical College (KMC) and is receiving treatment there,â€ť Anju said.
â€śWe could not identify the language she spoke. We have not yet received any report which confirms that she is COVID-19 positive,â€ť the superintendent added.