INDIA: Doctor who raised concerns over PPE shortage sent to mental hospital

(BBC) – An Indian doctor who was suspended after raising concerns about a shortage of masks is again in the spotlight after officials committed him to a mental hospital. BBC Telugu’s V Shankar reports.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, an anaesthetist with 20 years of experience, made national headlines over the weekend for the second time in two months.

A series of videos that went viral show him and police facing off on a highway in the southern city of Visakhapatnam, where Dr Rao lives and works. Authorities say he was sent to a mental hospital after.

The news follows reports of Indian doctors facing a backlash after speaking out about shortages of protective gear or lack of preparation in hospitals.

What happened to Dr Rao?

The videos, which have been shared widely on social media and WhatsApp, show a confusing chain of events from Saturday.

Dr Rao is first seen shirtless, sitting inside his car by the side of the road, and screaming at police.

In another video, he is lying on the road with his hands tied behind his back as a constable hits him with a baton. Police said the constable has been suspended, pending an inquiry.