Telangana Ophthalmologist conceals Nizamuddin Markaz visit, endangers patients

Social media was abuzz when a doctor revealed that a senior eye specialist Dr. Idris Akbani in Adilabad, Telangana had concealed his travel history of attending the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin, Delhi and thus endangered 100s of patients he had seen after rejoining work.

Akbani, who is the Ophthalmology HOD (Head of Department) at the state-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) Adilabad, not only decided against disclosing such vital information to fellow medical staff or the establishment, but also attended both the OT (Operating Theatre) & Outpatient Department (OPD).

As a Hindu doctor had shared this concern, immediately a swarm of Tablighi Jamaat apologists started questioning the veracity of her claim and accused her of ‘communalizing’ the issue.Eventually, it was confirmed that the information was indeed true and it is shocking that a doctor could commit such carelessness and endanger the lives of patients he is entrusted with. 

Senior health officials confirm that the eye specialist had visited Delhi on March 8th. After spending a couple of days with the Jamaat, he returned to Adilabad on March 10th. Dr. Idris Akbani did not disclose this information and didn’t self-quarantine himself either. Instead, he resumed duty and attended to patients from March 12th to April 1st, and even performed one emergency eye surgery on March 26th. 

Further, he was present at a meeting with the Drug Purchase Committee of RIMS held on March 28. Ironically, the agenda of the meeting was procurement of drugs for the treatment of Covid-19.

His name cropped up when the list of people who had attended the religious congregation in Delhi was being reviewed and scrutinized, and health officials were immediately alerted. 

Based on the recommendations of health officials, Dr. Idris Akbani was quarantined at the hospital on April 1st and tests were conducted. Thankfully, for the scores of people he had interacted with and endangered since his return from the Jamaat congregation, the test came out negative. However, an extended period of isolation of up to 28 days has been prescribed to the doctor. No police complaint for negligence seems to have been filed against the eye specialist yet.

In a more shocking revelation, it has been found that Dr. Idris Akbani is an official functionary of the Tablighi Jamaat and played an active part as the organizing committee member of the Nizamuddin congregation. Being a doctor, it is appalling that Dr. Akbani did not recommend to the Jamaat that the event be cancelled at a time when the entire world is fighting a global pandemic, and when the government had repeatedly directed people to maintain social distancing. 

In another incident, 40 surgeons and resident doctors & 30 nurses and other staff of a prominent medical college in Pimpri, Pune were quarantined after an accident trauma patient they performed an emergency surgery upon turned out positive for Covid-19. The patient, an autorickshaw driver from Khadki, had hidden his travel history to attend the Tablighi Jamaat meet in New Delhi at the time of admission on 31 March.


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