UP to bring ordinance against attacks on health care workers, police
The ordinance, a government functionary said, will provide zero tolerance towards crime against corona warriors and stringent punishment against those violating lockdown restrictions, running away from quarantine centres or isolation wards, or spitting to spread the infection.Updated: Apr 29, 2020 22:54 IST
The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday decided to bring an ordinance to protect front line coronavirus disease (Covid-19) warriors against any kind of attacks or misbehaviour. The move comes days after the Centre promulgated a similar ordinance to deter attacks on medical personnel as they try to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposed law -- Uttar Pradesh Epidemic Disease Control Ordinance, 2020 – has a broader scope of coverage and stricter provisions to protect front line corona warriors, including medical officers, health care workers, paramedical staff, policemen and sanitation workers, said a senior government official, requesting anonymity.
“Besides health care teams and sanitation workers, government employees, and representatives of various organisations are fighting against Covid-19. However, some people are working as corona carriers and attacking the medical teams and security personnel. This is a serious crime and cannot be tolerated. We’ve decided to make major amendments to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. The Union government has recently amended the Act to protect health care teams from any attack or misbehaviour with jail term and penalty. We’re also making a provision for up to seven years’ imprisonment and up to Rs 5 lakh penalty for any attack on security personnel, sanitation workers and corona warriors,” said UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
A government functionary said: “The ordinance will provide zero tolerance towards crime against corona warriors and stringent punishment against those violating lockdown restrictions, running away from quarantine centres or isolation wards, or spitting to spread the infection.”
“We’re finalising the provisions to be incorporated in the draft ordinance to be placed before the state cabinet for approval soon. The ordinance will have stricter provisions,” an officer said while explaining how the state law would be more stringent than the ordinance promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind.
The Union government’s new law was brought after amending the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and focuses on protecting doctors and healthcare workers.
On Wednesday, the CM gave his nod for the ordinance after holding discussions with his ministers and senior officers at a meeting of Covid-19 management Team-11.
Adityanath also urged his team to increase the capacity of dedicated Covid-19 hospitals’ beds (L-1, L-2, and L-3) to 52,000. He said one-lakh-bed capacity should be created on a war footing within a month and safety protocol for protection against infection should be followed in all Covid-19 hospitals.
The CM said Covid-19 tests should be ramped up and pool testing must be encouraged. He said the availability of essential commodities need be ensured during the ongoing lockdown restrictions and immediate action should be taken against those indulging in black marketing, hoarding and other malpractices.
Adityanath said services of volunteers of Yuvak Mangal Dal, Nehru Yuva Kendra, National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Service Scheme (NSS) should be taken for community surveillance work.
He sought active participation of self-help groups (SHGs) in serving food to those lodged in quarantine centres and shelter homes.
The CM said efforts should be made to convert Red into Orange and Orange into Green zones and that a plan is in the works to restart industrial activity in all the non-Red zones.
Red, Orange and Green zones stand for above 15 Covid-19 active cases, less than 15 and zero cases, respectively.