Visakhapatnam: The Andhra Pradesh Vaidya Vidhan Parishad commissioner, on 8 April, suspended a doctor for criticising the government regarding the handling of the Coronavirus situation in the state. The issue took a political turn after former Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and TDP chief Nara Lokesh condemned the move.

Mr Naidu said Dr K. Sudhakar, an anaesthesia specialist at Narsipatnam Area Hospital, had opened a Pandora’s box by exposing the inadequacies of the state in dealing with the pandemic. His son and former minister Nara Lokesh, meanwhile, took to Twitter and said Dr Sudhakar was victimised because he was a Dalit.

The state health minister, Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas (Alla Nani), said the doctor had spoken on behalf of the Telugu Desam Party and had already posted his allegations on the party’s website before meeting media personnel at the municipal meeting. He said even though the Narsipatnam hospital was not a designated COVID-19 hospital, 20 sets of PPEs, 32 N95 masks, and 65 HIV kits were sent to the hospital on 3 April.

The suspended doctor has received support from AP Junior Doctors’ Association and AP Indian Medical Association, who in a separate announcement said they will raise funds from NGOs and other donors to purchase safety equipment since the government had failed to provide them.

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