With a "rich and powerful" businessman and his mother refusing to be hospitalised in New Delhi for treatment of swine flu, Government on Friday warned it can invoke the British era 'Epidemic Act' to forcibly quarantine people and treat them.
"The 1897 Epidemic Act can be invoked anytime," Vineet Chaudhary, Joint Secretary Ministry of Health said in New Delhi.
Chaudhary clarified that the invoking of this Act does not have any relation with the WHO declaring swine flu as a pandemic as India could have invoked it any time.
He, however, said the Government did not invoke the Act in the case of the 34-year-old businessman and his mother, as they are back in RML hospital after giving the slip to authorities.
The duo who was hospitalised after much persuasion by Delhi government officials on Wednesday night, had left the hospital last evening without informing the authorities.
A team of Delhi government officials and police went to businessman's farm house at Rajokri late last night and brought them back to hospital.
The businessman, who carried the swine flu virus from New York, had refused to be hospitalised and insisted on being treated at home.