Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers, who were tasked with identifying symptomatic patients and spread awareness about COVID-19, were allegedly abused and chased away by a group of locals in Bengaluru’s Byatrayanapura locality on Wednesday (April 2).
In a video message, Krishnaveni, an ASHA worker, said “We were told spread awareness and identify people symptoms of coronavirus like dry cough, fever, etc. But, some locals did not let us work”.
Krishnaveni said soon after an announcement in the nearby mosque about their presence in the area, they were harassed by 100 people who gathered on the spot. “We are working for their safety and this is how we are treated. Action should be taken against whoever made that announcement,” Krishnaveni said.
#WATCH Karnataka: An Asha worker, Krishnaveni says she was attacked in Byatarayanapura, Bengaluru while collecting data on #coronavirus. Says, "The problem started when an announcement was made against us from a mosque, whoever made that announcement should be arrested".(April 1) pic.twitter.com/9jBT9q7K0L
— ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2020
In a two-minute video she says that they were abused as their phones and bags were snatched. “We later informed our chief who intimated the police to bring the situation under control,” she said. As reported by Deccan Herald, Krishnaveni is yet to file a complaint.
Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan visited Krishnaveni’s residence and enquired about her health.
Karnataka Minister for Woman and Child Welfare, Shashikala Jolle too condemned the incident, saying the state government will not tolerate any such indiscipline.
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, ASHA workers have been working in groups at the grassroots level across the state to spread awareness about the virus, which has claimed at least 50 lives across the country so far.
(With inputs from agencies)