KATHMANU,, April 18: At a time when misinformation and fake news on COVID-19 are rampant on social media, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has penalized Dr Sher Bahadur Pun of Teku-based Sukraraaj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital for leaking ‘vital information’ to media.
On Friday, the Ministry asked Dr Pun to furnish his clarifications in the next 48 hours. After the incident, Republica talked to several sources, and learned that the Teku Hospital management pressurized the ministry to take action against Dr Pun.
“As Dr Pun was media friendly and have been providing technical information about the disease, some senior officials at the Hospital didn’t want him [Dr Pun] to be “the face” of the hospital,” said the source, adding that even some senior doctors have not been in talking terms with Dr Pun lately.
Dr Anup Bastola, spokesperson for the Teku Hospital, didn’t want Dr Pun to talk to reporters. “The situation turned ugly after the lockdown. Before the lockdown, the media used to approach Dr Bastola for information. Lately, Dr Pun is everywhere in the media. This “pinched” the management,” the source claimed.
“Dr Bastola felt that he was overshadowed by Dr Pun. However, an official at the ministry expressed regrets over the transfer of Dr Pun to the ministry, saying that doctors like Pun should have been in the field instead of working in the ministry during this health emergency.