Several family members of a deceased COVID-19 patient allegedly attacked police and security guards stationed at a hospital in Melbourne, Australia, after they were denied entrance to the facility.

Around 15 people — all family members of a patient who had died of the coronavirus disease — gathered outside the Northern Hospital in Epping in the early hours of Monday morning. Three men from the group attempted to enter the hospital, reported, citing senior constable Tim Bail.

The three unnamed Roxburgh Park men, aged 38, 41 and 47, wanted to see the patient but were asked by hospital staff to leave, resulting in an altercation breaking out, according to Bail.

"There was an incident early Monday morning at Northern Hospital Epping, where a number of family members attempting to access the hospital exhibited unacceptable behavior," a spokesman for the hospital was quoted as saying by newspaper The Age.

Two police officers and three security guards were treated for non-life-threatening injuries following the incident.

The three men have each been charged with affray, two counts of recklessly causing injury, five counts of assault in company, two counts of assaulting police and other assault-related offenses.

They have since been released on bail. They are scheduled to appear before Heidelberg Magistrates' Court on Feb. 28 next year.

The World Health Organization said last year that attacks against healthcare workers and systems have continuously been reported during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Attacks on health care not only have a direct impact on the ability of health systems to deliver services to those most in need, but also take a heavy toll on the psychosocial health of patients, critical health care providers on the frontline and their families," WHO stated.

In one such attack, a 28-year-old woman allegedly stabbed a medical worker multiple times outside a hospital in Massachusetts last week.

The woman, identified as Victoria Disharoon, allegedly approached the 44-year-old victim while she was on break from work at Morton Hospital in Taunton Wednesday. The suspect pulled her ponytail and stabbed her several times in the back, police said.

"This was an unprovoked attack on one of our healthcare providers," the Taunton Police Department said in a statement.

The unnamed hospital worker, who did not personally know Disharoon, suffered multiple puncture wounds on her shoulders and neck from the attack but has since been treated and released from the hospital.

Disharoon was later arrested, and police were able to seize a pocket knife they believed was used in the attack. She faced charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

Hospital hallway
Representation. Three men were arrested after they allegedly attacked police and security at a hospital. Photo: Pixabay