The doctor had raised questions about the lack of beds due to which patients were being made to wait.

Screenshot from the video in which doctor is being asked to get out Screenshot from video
news Governance Friday, September 11, 2020 - 16:45

In an unprecedented turn of events, during a COVID-19 review, Guntur Collector Samuel Anand Kumar lost his cool at a medical officer and ordered for his suspension and arrest. Dr Somla Naik is a medical officer working at Nandendla primary health care centre. The incident happened during a review meeting held at Narsaraopet Town Hall on Thursday. The entire incident was caught on camera.

TNM spoke to a senior doctor who was part of the review meeting, who explained, “Dr Somla Naik raised a concern about the shortage of beds in the primary health care centre. The Collector responded to the concern raised by saying it was not true. The Collector also asked whether the same concern was raised with the District Medical Health Officer. This is (DMHO) how the argument began. We were all anguished by the turn of events. It escalated quickly.”  

It is being reported that Dr Somla Naik also conveyed to the Collector that despite the best efforts by the doctors at the ground level, their efforts were not being recognized.

In the video that surfaced, the Collector can be heard angrily saying, “What nonsense. Where is this doctor from? Take him away and arrest him. How dare he asks me-- who am I? Arrest him under disaster management sections. Take him away.” Following which the doctor can be seen taking his files and leaving the auditorium.

Miffed by the turn of events, the angry Collector directed the DMHO Dr J Yasmin to suspend Dr. Somla Naik and directed Nasaraopet DSP Veera Reddy to arrest him. The police officials shifted Dr Somlu Naik to Narasaraopet DSP office and later released him.

TNM contacted Dr J Yasmin, the District Medical Health Officer from Guntur to enquire if any action had been taken against Sr Somlu Naik. She said, “No disciplinary action has been taken so far as no instruction has come from the Collector’s office.”

TNM also tried reaching out to the Collector for a comment but our calls went unanswered.   

The opposition soon took to social media to condemn the government for the incident. TDP MLC Nara Lokesh tweeted the video and said, “This is Jagan Mohan Reddy government's atrocity on a tribal officer. During a review meeting on corona in Narasaraopet in Guntur district, Nadendla medical officer Somlu Nayak, who questioned why officers like him were being blamed for the increase in cases without minimum facilities being provided, was arrested. I condemn his brutal arrest. Somlu Nayak should be released immediately!"

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh Govt Doctors' Association has condemned the incident. The association has warned of a strike if arrest orders are not withdrawn and demanded a departmental inquiry into the alleged lapses as claimed by Dr Naik.

As of Thursday, Guntur had 7,803 active COVID-19 cases. The district has recorded  446 COVID-19 deaths so far.

Watch: In the video below the Guntur Collector loses his cool and asks cops to book Dr Naik under the disaster management sections.  

READ: Andhra police identified culprits in 512 cases by matching fingerprints in 2019


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