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Doctor Couple Resign Over COVID-19 Ward Duty, Warned Of Consequences

Publish On: 25 Mar, 2020 11:10 AM | Updated   |   Sj Desk  

A doctor couple working in a government hospital in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district has resigned after being assigned to the COVID-19 isolation ward. According to an official, the doctor husband and wife sent in their resignation first through WhatsApp message and then an email. 

There are trying times for India, where the number of deadly coronavirus cases has crossed 560. On Tuesday, Dr. Manju Dubey, West Singhbhum civil surgeon said that she had served Dr. Alok Tirkey with Dr. Alok Tirkey, asking him to re-join his service immediately following state health secretary Dr. Nitin Madan Kulkarni’s directive in the morning.

“As per health secretary’s directive, I have asked Dr Tirkey to join duty within 24 hours or else FIR will be lodged against him under Jharkhand Epidemic Disease (Covid-19) Regulation-2020 and Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. He may also face cancellation of his Medical Council of India (MCI) registration if he fails to join back duty immediately,” Dr Dubey said.

“He was earlier in the district under district mineral fund trust but had resigned to join newly-started Dumka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). He resigned from DMCH and re-joined here (Sadar Hospital) a few days ago and was deployed in coronavirus isolation ward three days ago,” said Dr Dubey.

“Barring the couple, none of the other 23 doctors here in the Sadar Hospital has resigned or sought leave as of now,” she added.

Dr. Tirkey, who is a specialist physician, has cited his wife, Dr. Soumya's health problems as his reason for leaving. He also said that he was 

a victim of ‘office politics’.

“My wife and sister are in an immunosuppressive state and run a high risk of contracting an infection. Hence, we have sought to resign from our posts. My sister recently had a renal transplant,” Dr. Tirkey said.

“Anyway, I am not an escapist and will give my services for the time being. But will resign and leave this job after the Covid-19 crisis is over in a month or so,” he added.

“I had re-joined here four days ago in non-communicative disease department but was deputed alone in corona isolation ward the next day. Why other doctors were not posted in the isolation ward and how could I manage the rush of patients alone,” alleged Dr Tirkey.

“I took care of the isolation wad from 10am to 1pm on the first day without a protective kit. So was the scene in DMCH, where most of the medicines were not available to treat patients coming in,” he said.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the novel virus that has infected over 4,00,000 worldwide. In India, the number of cases has crossed 560, with at least 10 reported deaths. Health authorities are urging citizens to stay at home-- which is the only way of flattening the curve and stopping community transmission. 

PM Modi said that observing the 21-day lockdown will save the country from going 21 years back. "Jaan hai toh jahan hai", he quoted.