After the shocking incident in Chennai where the burial of a doctor who had died due to COVID-19 was blocked by locals, the Madras High Court on Monday has taken suo moto cognisance of the incident. The court observed that the right to decent and dignified burial is a part of fundamental rights of an individual. Not only had the locals blocked the ambulance carrying the body of the 55-year-old neurosurgeon, but they also hurled stones at the ambulance injuring the driver. `
The Madras HC has sought strict action against the culprits and has warned of such incidents in the near future. It has also issued a notice to the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, Health Secretary, Director General of Police (DGP), Chennai Corporation Commissioner and Chennai Police Commissioner seeking a reply by April 28.
With the situation worsening further, the 55-year-old doctor had to be cremated at another cemetery. Reportedly, out of the 50 people that attacked the ambulance, 20 have been arrested by the Chennai Kilpauk police.
In wake of the rising incidents against doctors and healthcare workers in the country, the Indian Medical Association has issued a 'White Alert' to the nation. As a part of the alert, all the doctors and hospitals across the country have been urged to light a candle as a protest and vigil on April 22, Wednesday, at 9 pm. The association has also declared a Black Day on April 23, and urged all doctors to work with black badges on Thursday.
In a circular issued on Monday, National President Dr Rajan Sharma stated that the IMA has maintained utmost restraint and patience in spite of extreme provocation and that doctors have been beaten up, abused, denied entry and residence as well.
"Further decisions will be taken if suitable steps are not taken by the government even after the Black Day," the IMA circular read.