Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19 in India: Doctor refuses to wear mask in store, argument video goes viral

Web Report/Mangalore
Filed on May 20, 2021


'If I was infected I would not have stepped out'

A doctor who claims to have treated several Covid patients in Mangalore over the past year, walked into a supermarket on Tuesday without wearing a mask and questioned the need for one.

When the staff at the supermarket urged him to wear a mask, which they were willing to provide, Dr Bevinje Srinivas Kakkilaya, questioned the need to do so. When he was told that he was violating the government guidelines and was putting others to risk, he replied: “Why will I do that? I have been working with Covid patients and will do so vigorously.”

Ryan Rosario, a partner of the supermarket, said the incident took place on Tuesday morning. The store complained to the police, which filed a case against Dr Kakkilaya under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020. N. Shahi Kumar, Mangalore’s police commissioner, said the video of the incident has gone viral.

Kakkilaya told a local reporter that he had recovered from Covid and was not posing a threat to anyone. “If I was infected I would not have stepped out,” he said. “I have been telling people to follow social distancing and wear a mask only if they are infected or in home isolation or interacting with senior citizens.”

But the Indian Medical Association and the Association of Medical Consultants, Mangalore, have criticised him. “Behave responsibly, wear a mask, prevent Covid infection and save lives,” said Dr Animesh Jain, IMA secretary, Mangalore.

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