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hands regarding the forcible removal of plague cases to the Arthur Road Hospital, and whereas
from information that has reached the Commissioner it is desirable that such false impressions
should be removed, you are hereby informed that, provided a competent medical officer is engaged
to supervise the hands employed in your mill, the duty of attending thereto and communicating
with the Health Department in the event of any bubonic case occurring will be left to such
medical officer, and no person suffering from such disease will be removed to hospital except on
the certificate of the said medical officer. The Health Officer has been informed accordingly, and
the name of any such officer appointed for your mill should be communicated to the department."
8. On the same day (30th October) the following proclamation was issued to
the general public, Gujarti and Marthi translations being also freely circulated
in the town:
"Whereas the Municipal Commissioner is informed that great alarm has been caused to the
public by the notification recently issued under section 434 of the Municipal Act, and whereas the
objects of that notification have been misunderstood, inasmuch as the powers under it were
obtained principally to meet the case of a large increase of bubonic plague, the public are now
hereby informed that no cases where proper segregation and treatment can be carried out on the
premises will be removed to the Arthur Road Hospital, and in such cases as require removal no
action will be taken except on the certificate of a qualified medical practitioner employed by the
Health Department. The Executive Health Officer has been instructed accordingly, and the
Commissioner of Police informed."
9. As regards the danger indicated by the Municipal Commissioner, the
Health Officer writes in similar language:
"At this time the scavengers, the drivers of carts and the halalkhors were very restless.
They spoke of leaving the city, saying that if the 'Setts and Sahebs' left, they also would require
a change of air. I had no doubt that a riot would occur, and eager as I had been to remove
the sick to hospital, I admitted at once that if the policy was continued, not only would a riot
occur, but that all the sanitary business of the city would stop and that we should not have men
either to segregate the sick or to clean the city and that we should be left alone. When a
riot occurred a few years ago, and when a disturbance in ordinary times arose, all sanitary work
ceased. A calamity even greater and more sudden than the pestilence might have overtaken
the city. The total interruption of the sanitary arrangements would have made the city
uninhabitable, and the plague would have raged unchecked."
10. Of this period the Commissioner of Police, Mr. R. H. Vincent, C.I.E.,
writes as follows:
"Rescues of persons suffering with the plague on their way to hospital, and attacks of the
Police and Municipal servants had been for many weeks of frequent occurrence, and early in
November I had found it necessary to place police guards over the hospitals in consequence of
the attempted storming of the Arthur Road Hospital, which was only prevented by the timely
arrival on the scene of myself, the Deputy Commissioner of Police with a dozen or two of
European Police officers and some mounted policemen.
In every way the people thwarted the authorities; now by false accusations of extortion,
now by secreting their sick, and again by most stubborn resistance to and disregard of all sani-
tary measures and precautions. At the same time the feeling of exasperation amongst the
inhabitants was greatly increased by the evil doings of a number of bad characters, who, pretend-
ing to be Municipal or Police employs went about extorting money, and this did not cease
until the Police had succeeded in securing the convictions and condign punishment of seven
11. Although, therefore, the enforcement of removal to hospital of all cases
of plague was found unadvisable, "it must not be supposed," the Municipal
Commissioner writes, "that all attempts at isolation were given up. The mere
proposal of this measure resulted in the majority of the cases being concealed,
but when they were detected arrangements were invariably made in the
patients' own houses to give them the best chance of recovery possible by remov-
ing them to the lightest and best ventilated rooms, and every endeavour was
made to dissuade all but the few necessary attendants from frequenting that
part of the dwelling. At the same time where circumstances made it absolutely
impossible to make any suitable arrangements, or where the patients were
paupers or friendless, they were removed to the Municipal Hospital at Arthur
12. The attitude of unreasoning terror of hospitals maintained by all sec-
tions of the native community, extended, in the early stage of the epidemic, even
to hospitals established and managed by Hindus for their own caste-men. As
early as October such hospitals were opened in Mandvi and Bhuleshwar, but
proved useless in face of this attitude.
13. The Municipal Commissioner notes, propos of this abortive attempt,
that "those from whom co-operation rather than obstruction might have been
expected, backed up the unreasoning voice of public opinion by the specious
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