SOPs for Maharashtra COVID-19 care centres by March 31: Ajit Pawar

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday said a doctor who allegedly tried to molest a woman patient at a COVID-19 care centre in Aurangabad has been removed from service, and SOPs for such facilities will be issued by this month-end.

The incident took place earlier this week and the issue was raised by BJP MLA Manisha Chaudhary in the state Legislative Assembly.

She said incidents of rape of women in COVID-19 care centres are not new.

“Such cases are unfortunate. People don’t fear the government. We demand immediate response from the state Home minister,” the MLA said.

Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said he had written four letters to chief minister on the rise in incidents of crime against women in COVID-19 care centres and sought standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curbthem.

“But, I haven’t got any reply to my letters and SoPs have also not been published,” the former chief minister said.

In response, Mr. Pawar said the SOPs for COVID-19 care centres will be published by March 31.

He said the doctor who tried to molest the woman patient at a COVID-19 care centre in Aurangabad has been removed from service after a preliminary probe into the incident.

“The woman is not ready to complain for fear of her identity being revealed. The doctor and her husband are friends. Strict action will be taken after completion of the inquiry,” Mr. Pawar said.

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