Kochi: The sexual assault of a COVID-19 patient in an ambulance on September 5 has exposed serious lapses by health authorities in complying with guidelines on shifting infected patients to hospital.
No healthcare worker accompanied the girl and another woman patient while being taken to hospital. They were sent alone with the ambulance driver at night.
The health department has also faced strong criticism for recruiting a person with criminal background as 108 ambulance driver.
The coronavirus-infected young woman who was sexually assaulted by an ambulance driver earlier this month tried to commit suicide at Government Medical College, Kottayam.
Hospital staff rescued her by breaking open the doors of the bathroom in the isolation ward where she tried to hang herself, according to regional media reports.
The girl’s condition is stable now. She is under observation.
It was on September 5 that the young woman was allegedly molested by the driver of a 108 ambulance while she was being taken to the COVID-19 first-line treatment centre at Panthalam.
Noufal, the 28-year old ambulance driver, accused in a murder case, was arrested soon after the incident. He has been removed from service.
After the assault, the girl was initially admitted to the Government General Hospital, Pathanamthitta. But as she was under severe mental trauma and required counselling, she has been shifted to the Kottayam Medical College.