A 30-year-old man in India, who works as a lab technician at a COVID-19 testing facility has been charged with rape and molestation after he took vaginal swabs from a woman on the pretext of getting "accurate" coronavirus results.
The incident took place in the Indian state of Maharashtra. According to local news sources, the victim along with 25 others who work at a mall in the Indian city of Amravati was asked to undergo coronavirus testing after one of her colleagues tested positive.
According to a Times Now, the accused took samples from her nose and mouth on July 24 but called her a few days later claiming that she had tested positive, however, an accurate result will be known once her vaginal swabs are tested.
The woman then went for the second coronavirus test to the state-run facility - Trauma Care Testing Lab of the Badnera government hospital. The accused, who has been identified as Alpesh A Deshmukh took vaginal swabs and soon informed her that the results had come negative.
The women grew suspicious and informed her brother, who then inquired with the local doctors about the need for vaginal swabs for conducting coronavirus testing. He was then informed that vaginal samples are never taken for coronavirus testing.
The woman and her family then approached the local police and filed a case. According to Mumbai Mirror, the accused has been arrested and has been charged under Indian Penal Code section 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 375 (rape).
The incident has once against raised concern on the issue of safety of women in India. In the month of July itself, there have been four cases of rape against women that took place inside hospitals treating coronavirus patients.
In the most recent incident that took place on July 20, a 25-year-old woman was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 was raped by the doctor, in the national capital of the country, New Delhi.
The doctor was later arrested based on the CCTV footage obtained from the hospital.
In another shocking incident, a 14-year-old COVID-19 patient was raped in New Delhi on July 15 by another patient aged 19 inside the hospital's bathroom.