A 29-year-old ambulance driver, V Noufal, has been arrested in India after he allegedly raped a 19-year-old COVID-19 patient being rushed to the hospital.
The suspect was arrested on Sunday morning following the incident in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast.
He is said to be a serial offender who had many criminal cases against him, and police said that he failed to obtain a mandatory medical certificate before joining the ambulance driving service.
Noufal reportedly picked up the victim and another 42-year-old lady from Adoor, at a COVID-19 centre in Aranmula, after they tested positive for the virus.
While he dropped the older lady at Firstline COVID Treatment Centre in Pandalam, he reportedly drove the teenager to a secluded area and raped her.
The driver was said to have threatened to kill the victim if she told anyone before dropping her off at the hospital in Pandalam.
But his threat did not work on the victim, who promptly informed hospital staff about the incident, leading to the driver’s arrest shortly after.
This is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in the country.
NDTV reported that a health official in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram was arrested on Monday for allegedly raping a 44-year-old woman, who was seeking a coronavirus negative certificate from him.
Health Minister, KK Shailaja described the attack on the teenager as “shocking” and “inhuman”.