Srinagar: Alleging that the letter written by the Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, seeking action against the DAK president is an attempt to silence a doctor who has been raising awareness about the deadly disease and treating COVID-19 patients, the Doctor Association Kashmir on Sunday said that this has demoralized the whole medical fraternity.
Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Aijaz Asad has reportedly written a letter to the Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education Department, seeking action against DAK President Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan for his statement that was published by some newspapers and portals regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
The DAK further said that the contents of the DC’s letter were unscientific and misleading. “Dr Nisar ul Hassan is a senior consultant Medicine at GMC Srinagar and is also an influenza and pandemic expert. He has been at the forefront in the fight against the pandemic, by treating Covid-19 patients tirelessly since the public health crisis began in 2020,” DAK spokesperson Dr Riyaz Ahmad Dagga said.
He said apart from that, the DAK President has been sensitizing and making people aware about various aspects of the disease. “Dr Hassan is the one who has been educating people about the importance of COVID-19 vaccine through print, social and electronic media. Not just locals, even national and international publications have been publishing comments of the DAK President in their stories related to the pandemic,” the Spokesperson said.
He said all along Dr Hassan has been stressing that the vaccination is the only way that would protect people from COVID-19 and bring an end to this public health crisis.
The spokesperson further said when initially people including healthcare workers were hesitant to take the vaccine, Dr Hassan was among the first to receive COVID-19 vaccine. “He circulated his photo while receiving the vaccine in social media and mainstream media to ensure that people know that the vaccine is safe and effective. And that encouraged a huge section of the population to take the vaccine,” Dr Dagga said.
He said that the DAK has set up helpline numbers to address the public concerns related to Covid-19. “And recently, we received a call from a young male namely Muntansir, an engineer by profession, who had developed a severe anaphylaxis to Covaxin for which he was hospitalized and he wanted to know if he can receive second dose of the same vaccine,” he said.
“In response to this, DAK issued a statement asking people who are allergic to ingredients of the vaccine not to take the jab, lest they might face any severe reaction, hampering their lives and also create doubts in the minds of people vis-à-vis the vaccine. However, we were quite clear in the statement that those having history of allergy unrelated to Covid-19 vaccine such as food, medicine, latex, insects and environmental triggers can take the vaccine,” the DAK spokesperson said.
He said same information is also mentioned in bold letters in the fact sheets of Covaxin and Covishield which are currently being used in Kashmir. “The sole purpose of this was to make people aware about this scientific phenomenon and save lives, and not resort to any misinformation to impact the vaccination drive,” he said.
Meanwhile, DAK General Secretary Dr Suhail Shah said the contents of the DC’s letter were unscientific and misleading. “The DC has created a story which is everything but science. The contents of the letter are intimidating and harassing. This has demoralized the whole medical fraternity who are risking their own lives to save others in this difficult time,” he said.
“How do you expect a doctor to be efficient if he/she is constantly thinking that if he/she says something for the benefit of patients, he/she might be punished? If a doctor will not do talking during the pandemic, then who will,” he asked.