Mysuru: Mysuru which reported over 600 covid 19 cases and over 5 to 10 deaths per day had zero cases for past two days reported in the state health bulletin released by State health and family welfare department.
And this is not because Mysuru did not have any covid cases but because covid testing, reporting, opd (out patient department) services had halted at all government health care set ups except emergency services and services at covid care centres as all the corona warriors of Mysuru district including over 220 (doctors) government health officers and over 1000 government nurses and paramedical staff of health department, protested since Thursday.
They protested demanding justice for suicide of Taluk health officer of Nanjangud, Dr S R Nagendra who had managed Nanjangud covid situation for past six months especially the cluster case related to a pharma company. He had ended life on Wednesday night allegedly due to work stress and pressure by higher ups.
Although Corona warriors withdrew protest owing to concern for patients on Sunday, they will resume to work only on Monday and they would work by wearing black strips until the report of inquiry (on cause of death of Dr Nagendra) by Mysuru division regional commissioner commissioner Mr C G Prakash is submitted. So the covid testing and reporting was affected on Sunday too.
An FIR has already been registered under section 306 of IPC by Alanahalli police here against Mysuru Zilla Panchayat Chief executive officer IAS officer Mr Prashanth Mishra with the allegation of abetment to suicide based on complaint by Dr Nagendra's father's Mr T S Ramakrishna. And Mysuru ZP CEO Mr Mishra has also been transferred.
Chief Minister Mr B S Yeddyurappa has ordered for the inquiry by Mysuru regional commissioner and has directed him to submit report within seven days.
Considering it as a special case, he has already announced ex gratia of Rs 50 lakh to the family of Dr Nagendra and they have even offered job to Dr Nagendra's family member. But the doctors had continued protest demanding for suspension of IAS officer Mr Prashanth Mishra.
Meanwhile on the other hand Panchayat development officers' welfare association staged protest demanding to cancel transfer of ZP CEO until the inquiry report is submitted.
According to complaint by Dr Nagendra’s father Mr T S Ramakrishna, their only son who served as government health officer at primary health care centre at Koodlapura in Nanjangud taluk since past two years, was given concurrent charge as taluk health officer of Nanjangud taluk only in January this year.
But ever since covid struck in March, he handled covid situation well in Nanjangud especially the first ever covid cluster case of the State related to a pharma company. While the cases increased, two covid care centres were started in Nanjangud itself and the district authorities planned to open third one there.
Though he had told District health officer, Mysuru Deputy commissioner and ZP CEO on the shortage of staff, and he has not been able to manage the work pressure, and he had even requested to relieve him from this concurrent charge as taluk health officer, he had not got co operation.
While he is married he stayed in a house close to his parents' home, at Alanahalli in Mysuru district. And in view of safety of his small seven year old daughter, he had self isolated himself and stayed away from family since March by sending his wife and kid to wife’s parents place.
And he had not taken a single day’s leave since March. Despite all this, ZP CEO Mr Prashanth Kumar Mishra had fixed target of 300 covid tests per day and pressurized him to get it done, else he would ensure he is booked under disaster management act.
So worried if the case is booked on him, and if his parents had to face embarrassment infront of relatives he has taken the extreme step.
While he came home for dinner at 10.30pm on 19 of this month, he had shared the work pressure he had faced like he had been discussing with them since some time, and though his parents insisted him to stay at their place itself, he had told them that he keeps getting calls all through the night, so he would go to his place and left (parents place) home at 11.30pm. But while he was supposed to come to their place for breakfast around 9.45am on 20 August, and he had not turned up even at 10.15am.
His office jeep had also arrived and waited for him. So when they checked near his house, the front door was closed and the back door was open and he was found hanging to a nylon rope tied to a hook next to toilet on 20 morning.
And they contacted police along with Dr Nagendra's colleague who was in his jeep, his father has stated in his police complaint. And in his complaint his father has accused that the pressure and threat by ZP CEO Mr Prashanth Mishra was reason for their son’s death.
Shocked Corona warriors under the aegis of Mysuru district doctors’ association kept the body of Dr Nagendra and protested infront of office of District health officer (DHO). And they had even taken medical education minister Mr K Sudhakar too when he visited the protest venue on Thursday night.
They only allowed for the cremation of Dr Nagendra's body on Friday, after Chief Minister Mr B S Yeddyurappa ordered for inquiry in the case by Mysuru regional commissioner seeking report in seven days and announced ex gratia of 50 lakhs. But the corona warriors had continued protest demanding suspension of ZP CEO.
In the mean time, an audio had gone viral in which Mysuru DC Mr Abhiram G Shankar had taken Dr Nagendra to task alleging of not getting adequate rapid antigen tests done.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Mysuru district doctors association president, Dr Devi Anand K P said that the budget allocation for health sector is less 2 percent of GDP in India. As many as over 40 percent of the posts that is 1066 posts of nurses and paramedical staff in health department are vacant in Mysuru district alone.
With the same staff now that we will have to handle fever clinics, covid tests, covid care centres too and we do not have a single day’s break. So we are under severe stress. THO of Periyapatna taluk of Mysuru district 54 year old Dr Nagesh died a month ago due to cardiac arrest owing to work pressure.
In this month alone we lost health officer of public health care centre of Jayapura of Mysuru taluk, 51 year old Dr Chandrakumar, a lab technician, and a group d employee too due to covid 19.
Despite doing so much, if the doctors are pressurized to do more when there is not adequate staff and threatening them of action, it is difficult and it is that same pressure which has pushed Dr Nagendra to end his life. We have requested for recruitment of staff on contract basis like it has been done in BBMP in Bengaluru to ease of our work load, which is yet to happen, he said.
Dr Nagendra had handled covid situation well in Nanjangud taluk especially the first ever covid cluster of not just Mysuru but entire State, related to a pharma company of Nanjangud taluk during March-April.
And 59 out 74 covid 19 cases of that cluster were from Nanjangud. So far 745 covid 19 cases and 11 deaths are reported in Nanjangud taluk.
And so far 5200 RT-PCR tests and 3655 Rapid Antigen Tests are being conducted in Nanjangud taluk. Even the latest covid report of last 19 August was signed by Dr Nagendra....