Medics undergo a mock-drill to treat Covid-19 patients, during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. Photo: PTI
In light of the ongoing attacks on the healthcare workers, on Wednesday, the Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance making acts of violence and harassment against healthcare personnel deployed in combating Covid-19 a non-bailable offence.
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A child receives a general immunisation vaccine, during the nationwide lockdown, at a government hospital in Hyderabad. Photo
According to which, in case of grave injuries to health workers, the guilty will be sent to jail for a term that could range between six months and seven years, and will be asked to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.
In case properties of health workers, including their ambulances, are damaged, the attackers will have to pay twice the market price of such assets.
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Health workers work on samples of swab test of police personnel inside a Covid-19 testing mobile van. Photo: PTI
According to the proposed amendments, investigation against the accused will have to be conducted within 30 days and a final decision taken within a year.
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A health worker collects samples for a swab test of a policewoman from a mobile Covid-19 testing van. Photo: PTI
The ordinance will amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and the amended law will also be invoked if healthcare personnel face harassment from their landlords or neighbours over suspicion that they may carry the coronavirus infection due to the nature of their work, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
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Medics wearing protective suits collect swab samples for Covid-19 test of vegetable vendors, who had shops in Vadasery bus stand, in Kanyakumari District. Photo: PTI
For this, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which had been demanding a Central law to deal with the crimes against healthcare professionals, expressed its "heartfelt thanks" to Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
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Medics have themselves sanitised after conducting cremation of a Covid-19 patient. Photo: PTI
The apex doctor's body had earlier in the day called off its proposed 'White alert' and 'Black day' protests scheduled on April 22 and 23 following a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah through video conference.
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Doctors greet patients who have recovered from Covid-19 at JLNM Ranawari hospital in Srinagar. Photo: PTI
Several incidents of violence against medical professionals have been reported from different parts of the country during the coronavirus outbreak.
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Nagrik Suraksha Sangathan volunteers paint a graffiti on a road to create awareness among people in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: PTI
Among other incidents, in Chennai, an orthopaedic surgeon had to bury his associate, a neurosurgeon who died of COVID-19, in the middle of the night using his bare hands and a shovel at a crematorium with the help of just two hospital ward boys after the undertakers fled when a mob, protesting the interment, attacked them.