Senior doctor booked in Mangaluru for not wearing mask at supermarket

The police on Wednesday filed a case against senior physician B. Srinivas Kakkilaya under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act for not wearing a face mask while shopping at a supermarket in the city.

Mangaluru East police booked Dr. Kakkilaya under Sections 4,5 and 9 of the Act based on a complaint filed by a partner of the supermarket. He was served a notice to appear before the investigation officer and give an explanation.

In his complaint to police Ryan Rosario, the partner of Jimmys Super Mart in Kadri, said Dr. Kakkilaya visited the store on Tuesday morning. Despite being asked by the staff of the store, Dr. Kakkilaya refused to wear the mask. The doctor said that he treats patients without wearing a face mask and that the staff of the store cannot ask him to wear it. The doctor has put customers and staff at risk by not wearing a mask, which has been made compulsory by the government, Mr. Rosario said.

In the CCTV image of the incident that went viral on social media, Dr. Kakkilaya is seen at the cash counter arguing that he was not putting anybody at risk by not wearing a mask and that he has recovered from COVID-19 a year ago. When the executive in the shop is heard saying that it is the rule to wear a mask, Dr. Kakkilaya said he will not follow “foolish rules”. “I have spoken against lockdown and have put the same in writing,” he said and added, “I am for science. I do not want to be fooled by this foolish government.”

Earlier, Dr. Kakkilaya had involved himself in malaria and dengue prevention activities of Mangaluru City Corporation by providing technical suggestions to the civic body and the Health Department.

Meanwhile, the Mangaluru chapter of the Indian Medical Association has condemned the action of Dr. Kakkilaya at the supermarket. In a statement the honorary secretary of the chapter, Animesh Jain, said that the IMA stands by the government guidelines and endorses mask wearing in public places, social distancing, hygiene and frequent hand washing as per the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). “We do not stand by any of the actions and statements by the doctor,” the statement said.

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