In a shocking incident, a laboratory technician allegedly took vaginal swabs of a 24-year-old woman for her COVID-19 test. The incident happened in the Trauma Care Testing Lab of the Badnera government hospital in the Amravati district of Maharashtra. The accused is currently in police custody and has been charged with molestation and rape.
The woman works at a mall in Amravati. One of her colleagues tested COVID-19 positive. Soon on July 29, 2020, she approached the Testing Lab, along with 20 other employees who were in touch with the coronavirus positive worker, to get tested for COVID-19.
The 30-year-old laboratory technician, Alpesh Ashokrao Deshmukh, first took the nose swabs of the woman along with other employees. Later, he called her up saying that she had tested positive for coronavirus and that her vaginal swabs were required for an accurate result. The woman even asked if any other woman had to undergo a vaginal swab test, but the technician denied.
However, the woman went to the TCTL for the second test as directed by the technician. He led her to a room and took the vaginal swab. Later when he said that she had tested negative, the woman found it suspicious. She approached her brother and told everything about the incident. Her brother then contacted a doctor who confirmed that no vaginal swab is required for COVID-19 testing.
The woman subsequently approached the police and filed a complaint against the technician. Deshmukh has been booked under rape and molestation charges. He was also produced before a court where he was charged with IPC Sections 354 and 376. He has been remanded to till July 31, reported IANS.
Shocked and furious at the incident, Maharashtra Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur who is also Guardian Minister of Amravati district told IANS, “He will not be spared. This is shocking that such an incident can take place in a district which gave India its first woman President, Pratibha Patil.”
President of Bhumata Ranragini Brigade, Trupti Desai also condemned the incident saying, “This is a sheer atrocity on the dignity of a woman. We urged the government to immediately clear the proposed Disha Law to deter such culprits.”
She also said that Amravati district has a number of women ministers, including the Guardian Minister and MP. If women aren’t respected in such a district, what would be the situation in other places?
More Cases Of Women Being Assaulted At COVID-19 Hospitals
In the recent past, other such incidents of assault in COVID-19 hospitals and quarantine centres have also surfaced.
In Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, a 30-year-old doctor was held for allegedly molesting and attempting to rape a 25-year-old woman who was a COVID-19 patient. The incident reportedly happened in Deen Dayal hospital where the woman was quarantined in an isolation ward. The woman registered a complaint to the Police against him in which she mentioned that the accused came to her room late at night and touched her private parts.
The doctor was reportedly arrested after the complaint.
In another incident, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by another COVID-19 patient in a washroom of an isolation ward of Sardar Patel COVID-19 Care Centre in South Delhi’s Chhatarpur. The accused was 19 years old. The girl also accused another man of filming the assault on his mobile phone. Both the accused have been reportedly arrested.
Picture Credit: BloombergQuint