“Foolish Rules…”: Doctor Without Mask Argues At Karnataka Mall, Charged

The doctor claimed to have recovered from Covid and therefore didn’t need to wear a mask

Bengaluru:

Police in Karnataka have filed a case against a doctor who refused to wear a face mask while shopping at a mall – he called it a “foolish rule” – and then argued with the store manager when asked to do so.

The case was filed under the Pandemic Act after a written complaint from the manager, who said the doctor’s actions had put himself, his employees and other customers at risk. The manager also wrote the doctor “claimed to have treated his patients the same way (without a mask)”.

Dr Srinivas Kakkilaya was at the billing counter of a grocery store in a mall in Mangaluru when he was asked to put on a face mask – which one is required to wear by law when in a public space.

A video from the store’s security camera shows the doctor – wearing a blue shirt and jeans – dismiss a plea from another customer who was wearing a mask. He then turns away and begins placing his items on the counter for billing when the manager also asks him to wear the mask.

The conversation between the two then rapidly escalates into a shouting match; the doctor is adamant he will not wear the mask and complains about “foolish rules”, while the manager reminds him it is the law and points out that other customers and his employees all had masks on.

“We have been coming here forever…” the doctor says, to which the manager responds: “Correct but you have to wear a mask… the rule is the same for everybody.”

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As the tension rises and both start shouting, the manager says: “I don’t want to listen to you. The mask (rule) is for everybody… for my staff and my customers.”

The doctor then shouts: “I am not putting anybody at risk because I have already had Covid and have recovered”. The manager replies: “This is the rule. You are acting foolish.”

“No, I am not acting foolish. I know. I am following science. I do not want to be fooled by this foolish government,” the doctor shouts back before leaving.

The government has long since ordered that people must wear face masks when leaving home, in addition to maintaining social distance and regularly washing one’s hands.

Masks are also required for people who may have recovered from the infection.

The use of masks have been repeatedly highlighted – by experts in India and abroad – as a key weapon in protecting oneself from the COVID-19 virus and helping break the chain of transmission.

Last week Mangaluru police chief N Shashi Kumar urged people to follow these rules, and warned of strict action against those violating the law.

This morning Karnataka reported over 30,000 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours. The active caseload in the state is over 5.75 lakh – the most in the country.

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