Ambulance carrying body of virus victim attacked by mob in India
NEW DELHI: Police in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu arrested 21 people for attacking an ambulance carrying the corpse of a doctor who died from the coronavirus, officials said.
The mob attacked the ambulance early on Monday as they thought it was unsafe for the neighbourhood and would result in locals contracting the virus, they said.
The state's chief minister, Mr Edappadi Palaniswami, assured citizens that the state was carrying out the necessary safety precautions before burying the deceased and that incidents like these were worrying.
"I assure doctors and health workers that the government will prioritise the safety of doctors and health workers," he said in a statement on Tuesday.
PAUSE IN TESTING
In a separate development, India has ordered a pause in testing for antibodies to the coronavirus because of concern over accuracy, health officials said yesterday, complicating the fight against the pandemic as its tally of cases nears 20,000.
India trails many countries in conducting the standard swab tests to determine the presence of the virus because of limited testing equipment and protective gear for medical workers.
Early this month, health authorities approved blood tests for coronavirus antibodies as a faster way to bolster the screening effort, and they ordered more than a half billion testing kits from China.
But the chief of epidemiology at the Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr R.R. Gangakhedkar, said he had asked health authorities to temporarily stop the tests for antibodies because of conflicting results.
"This is a first-generation test developed in just 31/2 months and needs refinement, the variations cannot be ignored," he said.- REUTERS