Guwahati: COVID-19 fighter, Dr. Pratyush Mahanta, who recently rose to prominence on social media after revealing the plight that doctors in Assam's Dibrugarh have been subjected to, has once again slunk back to relative obscurity. When Pratyush revealed that doctors fighting the virus on a war footing in Dibrugarh had not received salaries and were evicted from Government hostels, it caused massive outrage and shock across Assam.
Pratyush Mahanta, a doctor at the AMCH in Dibrugarh had tweeted about the plight of the doctors in one of the primer health institutes of Assam. Dr Mahanta said in a tweet that he had not been paid his salary for 89 days. The doctor posted a picture of a notice issued to passed out PG students assigned to fight COVID to vacate the hostels. "Days without salary= 89. Now a notice to vacate our hostels", the tweet read. The doctor also tagged state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and several other dignitaries of the health department.
Inside Northeast recently caught up with the doctor the latest updates on the scenario. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Q. Your post about not receiving salary was a viral phonomenon in Assam. It garnered a lot of reactions from the public, most of whom seemed outraged that doctors who are putting their lives at risks are facing such problems. Did you anticipate such a reaction?
A. Firstly, I was not looking to make a social statement. Secondly, I never thought that it would blow up on Twitter as much as it did. It was beyond my wildest dreams. Our only motive was to somehow get the pending salary.
Q. So, are the problems sorted now?
A. Thankfully, the post helped. Thanks to the attention it received, the salaries of the doctors will be credited by tomorrow. Perhaps that is testimony to the power of social media in the digital age.
Q. Are you not being evicted the hostels? Has the issue been sorted?
A. The hostel issue has also been resolved, I have learnt from unofficial sources and we have been informed that there is no need to vacate the hostels. I recently had a talk with the CM during his recent visit to Dibrugarh and he admitted that this is unfair. He said that he would ensure that our problems would be resolved at the earliest.
Q. The COVID cases are declining across India. Yesterday, not a single death was reported in Assam. Does that mean the virus is on its way out? What does the doctor community think?
A. The COVID caseload is decreasing, however doctors are preparing for a second wave of virus cases. Cases are spiking in Delhi. What happens is, the virus cases tend to rise once people become lenient. We are seeing that in the European countries. Thus, it is important to remain cautious instead of celebrating.
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