Covid-19: Cancer patient not allowed to enter society

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Published on Mar 19, 2020 12:56 AM IST
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ByYesha Kotak, Mumbai

A 74-year-old Arunachal Pradesh resident was denied entry into a residential building in Mulund where he has been staying for his cancer treatment in the city, on the suspicion that he was from China, which was the epicenter of the coronavirus.

The patient and his daughter have now been moved to Arunachal Pradesh Bhavan in Navi Mumbai.

Visiting the city for the treatment, Rinzin Dorjee and his daughter, Tsering Yangzom, last month stayed at the flat owned by the Bombay Sarvodaya Friendship Centre, a trust that provides temporary housing to outstation cancer patients.

Dorjee had a scheduled appointment at Tata Memorial Hospital for a chemotherapy session this month too, and so decided to stay there.

When they reached the flat on Monday, the guard refused to let them in. Anil Hebbarof the trust said: “I had tweeted to the police commissioner with my complaint, following which I was called the police station. The issue has been resolved now and they will return to Mulund in a day. But this is racism and shouldn’t have happened. They stay in Arunachal Pradesh, in a small village near China border, they cannot be denied entry saying they are Chinese.”

“There was an issue within the society because it is a trust-run flat, and the trustee used to earlier stay here. But, now it is being provided to students and patients, which is why the society had raised concerns over security. Also, with coronavirus scare, they had expressed concerns with visitors from outside coming in, but the issue is now resolved,” said an official from Navghar police station.

Yangzom refused to speak, saying she was with her father in the hospital. “I am sorry but I don’t want to speak about that incident and all problems are sorted now,” she said over a message.

Kashinath Gaikwad, committee member of the society, said that they weren’t allowing outsiders in the society because Hebbar wasn’t following the guidelines laid down for the society.

“The person who comes in doesn’t have any identity proof, how are we to allow anyone in a housing society like that? We have asked Hebbar to keep one family member as a tenant here and he/she can take care of people coming in,” said Gaikwad.

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