Karnataka doctor refuses to mask up in supermarket amid COVID-19 pandemic; booked after deriding 'foolish rules'

It’s been more than a year now since the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a standstill. Countries all over the world are still struggling to achieve some sort of semblance. India, too, continues to grapple with the Covid crisis. Amidst all this, the government on various occasions has issued advisories for following Covid-19 protocols like social distancing, wearing masks, etc. Despite repeated appeals and requests to follow the protocols, there some people who aren't taking these advisories seriously. And, when the said person happens to be a medical practitioner, how would one even justify the act?

A video, which has gone viral on social media, shows a doctor refusing to wear a mask while shopping at a grocery store in Mangaluru, Karnataka. The doctor has now been booked under the Epidemic Act based on a complaint, the police said on Wednesday.

In a video, the medical practitioner, later identified as Dr B Srinivas Kakkilaya, can be seen having a heated argument with a staff member of the supermarket who asked him to wear a mask at the billing counter. In the video, doctor can be heard justifying his act.

“I am not putting anyone at risk because I have already had Covid and I have recovered from it,” Dr Kakkilaya can be heard saying. Responding to this the staff members says, “Reasonable, but a rule is a rule.” After this, the conversation heats up with the doctor furiously saying, “Foolish rules have been made, have you opposed those? This lockdown is a foolish rule, have you opposed that?”

However, the manager reminds him there was a rule mandating wearing of face masks in public places. “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.” The incident took place on May 18.

Meanwhile, Ryan Rosario, a partner of Jimmy’s Supermarket in Kadri, approached the police to file a complaint. Based on the complaint a case was registered against the doctor under sections 4, 5 and 9 of Karnataka State Epidemic (prevention) Act 2020.

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