Why are people fighting against frontline warriors & not coronavirus?
NEW DELHI:On one side where the country is fighting against coronavirus crisis, on the other, few people of the country are fighting against the frontline warriors who are working to save the lives of citizens. Reports of attacks on police and doctors are hogging headlines. From West Bengal’s Howrah to Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur, visuals of a mob attacking police are surfacing on social media. Watch ‘Matrabhumi’ show to know all about it.
Amid several reports of attacks on healthcare personnel engaged in treating and tracking Covid-19 cases across the country, the cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance making acts of violence against doctors and frontline personnel a cognisable and non-bailable offence punishable with prison terms of up to seven years.
I&B minister Prakash Javadekar said those violating the law will attract a jail term of up to seven years and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh. He said said the cabinet had approved promulgation of an ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, to ensure that those who assault or abuse healthcare personnel are punished.
“The central government has brought an ordinance to end violence against health workers. It carries imprisonment from six months to seven years if anyone is found guilty,” Javadekar said, adding that attacks on doctors and health professionals would not be tolerated.
In case of damage of property or assets, violators would also have to pay as compensation double the market price. “Health workers who are trying to save the country from this epidemic are unfortunately facing attacks. No incident of violence or harassment against them will be tolerated. An ordinance has been brought in, it’ll be implemented after the President’s sanction,” he said.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called off its proposed ‘white alert’ and ‘black day’ protests scheduled on April 22 and 23 following a meeting with home minister Amit Shah and health minister Harsh Vardhan through video conference on Wednesday. The doctors’ body has been demanding that the Centre bring a law to protect healthcare workers from rising attacks at a time when they are battling Covid-19.
In a communication to states, home secretary Ajay Bhalla said even a single incident of violence against healthcare professionals could create a sense of insecurity in the healthcare community even as they were rendering untiring service to resist the spread of Covid-19 and directed that adequate security be provided to frontline professionals and action be taken against miscreants. Bhalla said it was the responsibility of all state governments and UT administrations, district authorities and law enforcement agencies to take necessary measures to ensure adequate protection to healthcare professionals and frontline workers and to prevent violence against them.