Mangaluru: A foolish rule, says Covid doctor without mask at store | Mangaluru News – Times of India


MANGALURU: A well-known physician who has done extensive work on Covid courted controversy when he walked into a supermarket here on Tuesday without a facemask and refused to wear one despite requests by a store manager. He defended his action, saying he has been treating Covid patients for a year and questioned the rationale behind the government’s guidelines in this regard.
Following a complaint by the store, Mangaluru police have booked a case against Dr Bevinje Srinivas Kakkilaya under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020. Medical associations have criticized the physician for the incident.
In his complaint, Ryan Rosario, a partner of the supermarket where the incident took place around 8.45am on Tuesday, stated that a store employee requested a customer to wear a mask when he came to the billing desk. In the video, the employee is heard saying that they were willing to provide a mask to him. However, the customer claimed that he doesn’t insist on patients wearing a mask when they consult him and said the “government has made foolish rules”.
I recovered from Covid and won’t pose risk: Doctor
Mangaluru City police commissioner N Shashi Kumar said that a video of the incident has gone viral.
However, the store did not turn away the customer and allowed him to make payment for the items bought from there. The complainant alleged that the customer had put his staff and other customers “at risk” by violating government guidelines that make wearing of mask mandatory.
Dr Kakkilaya said, “Why will I put anyone at risk? I’ve been working with Covid patients and will work (with them) more vigorously. I will initiate legal action (against the store) for releasing the CCTV footage. This is an attempt to shift the debate from issues related to lack of oxygen and hospital beds.”
Later, he told TOI: “I have been visiting the supermarket for years and I was there to buy a toothpaste. I did not create ruckus there. I’ve recovered from Covid-19 and will not pose a risk to anyone. If I was infected, I would not have stepped out. I’ve 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.”
The Indian Medical Association and the Association of Medical Consultants, Mangaluru, have condemned the statements by Dr Kakkilaya.
The associations said they do not stand by the doctor’s action and endorse government guidelines on Covid-appropriate behaviour to bring down the rate of infection. “Behave responsibly, wear a mask, prevent Covid infection and save lives,” IMA-Mangaluru secretary Dr Animesh Jain said.
Dr Kakkilaya, 56, and his wife Dr Balasaraswathy have been working on providing solutions to lifestyle disorders and recently released a diet chart for Covid-19 patients, besides contributing to public health.
Son of freedom fighter and CPI leader BV Kakkilaya, the physician has analysed Covid deaths and shared the data with the Karnataka health secretary on Covid management and treatment guidelines for managing fever.
He had suggested home isolation, treatment and mobile units in March 2020. He had termed the lockdown “a foolish idea” and “counterproductive”.
Watch Doctor refuses to wear mask at Mangaluru mall, calls it ‘foolish rule’

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