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Viral video shows nursing staff assaulting Covid patient in Gujarat hospital

In the 55-second video, a paramedic is seen pressing the patient to the ground with his knee even as others hold him down and security guards, one of them weilding a baton, look on.

A purported video showing nursing and security staff slapping a patient after pinning him down to the ground in the Covid-19 wing of the state government-run Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay (PDU) Hospital in Rajkot went viral on Thursday. However, the hospital administration claimed that the staff was merely restraining an unruly patient.

In the 55-second video, a paramedic is seen pressing the patient to the ground with his knee even as others hold him down and security guards, one of them weilding a baton, look on. “Didn’t I tell you not to do it,” the paramedic wearing a white-coloured PPE kit is heard telling the pleading patient.

The paramedic is also heard saying the police were coming. As the patient tries to wriggle out of the pinhold, the security guard wielding the batton places his foot on the patient’s shoulder and the paramedic slaps him in the face. “Nothing will happen to you due to corona,” a female staff member is overheard telling the patient.

The video went viral on social media on Thursday and local TV channels also aired it, prompting the hospital administration to clarify that the staff was merely restraining the patient, identified as 38-year-old Prabhashankar Patil. “The said patient had tested positive for Covid and is still positive for the viral infection. Besides that, he has ailments like diabetes and hypertension. According to the opinion given by our psychiatry department, at the time the video was shot, he had a bout of hysteria and therefore he had started running hither and thither and had attempted to remove intra-venus tube and Ryle’s tube. Nursing staff and resident doctors who were on duty had observed he was even removing his clothes and behaving in a manner which can cause harm to himself as well as to fellow patients. When it was concluded that persuading him was proving of no avail, he was restrained,” Dr Pankaj Buch, medical superintendent of PDU Hospital told media persons.

Dr Buch said that the staff eventually manage to restrain Patil and stabilised him after giving him injections in consultation with the psychiatry department. “He was retrained in a manner which didn’t cause him any injury and was administered injections and given other treatment in consultation with the psychiatry department,” he said.

The medical superintendent claimed that PDU Hospital was giving the best care to all the Covid-19 patients. “Minimum 400 to 500 patients remain under treatment at Cocid hospital in the PDU Medical College. Nursing staff, Class IV servants and doctors are taking their good care and providing them treatment,” the superintendent said.

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