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Teenage COVID-19 patient raped by ambulance driver on the way to hospital; audio recorded

Monday, September 7, 2020 • Tamil Comments

A 19-year-old COVID-19 patient was raped by a 108 ambulance driver in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district on the way to a hospital.

According to reports, the 19-year-old victim and an elderly women, both of whom had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, were being taken to two different hospitals by a 25-year-old ambulance driver late Saturday night. "First, the elderly woman was dropped off by the driver after which the 19-year-old woman was to be taken to the hospital in Pandalam. Instead, the ambulance driver diverted the vehicle towards an empty ground and raped the young woman," according to the police. The accused, identified as Nowfal, has been removed from the 108 ambulance service and arrested. He apparently apologized to the woman while dropping her off at the hospital and requested her not to disclose the incident to anyone. The victim had recorded the audio of the conversation that had happened between her and the driver. She informed the hospital staff about it, leading to the driver's arrest. Regarding the presence of a nurse in the ambulance, a Health Department Official reportedly stated, "The driver's chamber is partitioned and no other staff or nurse accompanies the driver while ferrying patients to hospital. This is to limit the exposure of health workers to infected persons. In rare cases, if the patient is serious, we send a nurse. In this case, both patients were stable."

Expressing dismay, Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja said, "It is a shocking incident. The GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute, which operates the ambulance service, was asked to take action."


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