Angola: Covid-19 - Angolan Authorities Investigate Death of Physician

Luanda — Angolan authorities have opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Angolan physician Sílvio Dala, which occurred last week after being detained by the police.

The victim lost his life on the way to Prenda Hospital, after a malaise inside a police station, in Rocha Pinto ward, Maianga district of Luanda.

The paediatrician suffered from a disease (not revealed), which, according to the autopsy, is the main cause of the physician's malaise and death.

According to the spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, Waldemar José, the physician suffered a collapse inside the police station and had bruises on his head, but the autopsy revealed that he did not suffer any aggression.

In a note of condolences, distributed last Sunday, the minister of the Interior, Eugénio Laborinho, confirmed the opening of the investigation and a criminal process that is pending before the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR).Rank    ( + / - )

According to the government official, the authorities intend to assess what happened at the police station, before the doctor was taken to Prenda Hospital.

According to the minister, all procedures are being followed to determine the accountabilities in face of the occurrence.

Eugénio Laborinho underlined that it is also intended to determine the motivations that would have contributed to the "triggering of the results concluded in the autopsy of the doctor's body".

To the minister of Health, Sílvia Lutucuta, also in a note of condolence, a criminal proceeding should be opened in order to clarify the real circumstances in which the doctor's death occurred and in order to hold any possible offenders accountable.

It should be remembered that the autopsy determined that the doctor died of "pathological" and unprovoked death.

"The Ministry of Health reiterates its firm commitment to the lives and physical, psychological and moral integrity of doctors and all other health professionals, especially in this particularly challenging time when they are in fact the front line in combating Covid 19", the note reads.

The Health Ministry appeals to the medical community and the other actors in the health system to be calm and serene and not to be discouraged in the noble mission of saving lives.

Meanwhile, the version made public by the Ministry of the Interior has raised doubts in various circles of society, generating criticism about a possible bad approach by the Police.

The suspicions, replicated by several public figures, have gained strength after the publication of a photo on social media, in which the doctor is seen flat on the floor involved in a lot of blood.

(Inside the case)

According to the Ministry of the Interior version, Sílvio Dala was allegedly approached by a member of the National Police, for not wearing a mask inside his vehicle, and invited to go to the police station.

According to the new Presidential Decree on the Situation of Public Calamity, the wearing of a mask is mandatory on public roads and inside vehicles, including private ones.

Failure to comply with this rule is punishable by a fine of 5.000 kwanzas.

According to the version of the Interior Ministry spokesman, Waldemar José, the doctor was referred to a nearest police station, where all the formalities for the drafting of the report and the respective notification of transgression were completed.

Due to the fact that the police station does not have a mechanism to pay the five thousand kwanza fine, he said, the doctor called someone related to him to pay the fine and take the proof of payment to the police station.

It was in this waiting period, according to the commissioner, that the citizen started to feel sick and fainted (passed out), hitting his head on the floor.

The spokesman said that he was promptly placed in a defence and security forces vehicle that took him to Prenda Hospital, in the same district, where he died on the way.

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