TNM had visited the Majestic bus stand for three days and found officials were coercing people to get tested for COVID-19.
But the absence of a standard operating procedure/ a circular or an order by a relevant authority has led to officials on the ground forcing and bullying a section of the public to get tested without their consent to meet their daily targets. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a zonal health officer who reports to the Chief Health Officer of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, said they have been instructed to send transit teams to railway stations, bus stations or other crowded places to conduct tests. “But at no cost, can they force a person to get tested. The most that these teams can do is to try and convince the person to get tested but nothing more,” the officer told TNM. She added that each transit team has a target of testing 100 persons daily.
TNM spoke to a few persons who said that they were approached by BBMP officials and were coerced into testing. “I had been to National College ground to play frisbee with friends on March 21. And while on my way back at KR Market bus stand the police rounded us along with many others for COVID-19 test. I refused but I was told that it is mandatory so I was forced to get tested,” Siddharth Saldanha, a teacher, said.In another incident, an ITI student Ramesh Tadkal said he was also bullied into getting tested.
“I was in a hurry and had taken a COVID-19 test recently but the testers caught me at Majestic. I requested them to let me go as I was in a hurry but they threatened me saying that I will have to pay a fine of Rs 2,500 if I refuse.
So, I had to get tested even if I didn’t want to,” he said.A couple of others TNM spoke to narrated the same experience of being forced to take the test.
News Source : The News Minute