NEW DELHI: On Wednesday, Prakash Javadekar, the Union Minister said that the Union Cabinet meeting, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved an ordinance to end violence against doctors and health workers.
The ordinance has been brought in to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 making attacks on doctors, paramedic staff and ASHA workers a non-bailable offence with a punishment of up to seven years in prison and fine of up to Rs 5 lakhs.
The police will investigate the case in one month and the case will be fast tracked with the final judgement to come within a year.
The ordinance further entails that those found to be vandalising the private clinic or a car belonging to a doctor will be asked to pay twice the market value of these assets.
“Health workers who are trying to save the country from this epidemic are unfortunately facing attacks. No incident of violence or harrassment, against them will be tolerated. An ordinance has been brought in, it’ll be implemented after President’s sanction”, said Prakash Javadekar, Union minister while addressing the media.
The health workers, doctors and paramedic staff have been continuously attacked in various cases reported across the country. So, to ensure the safety and security of most important fighters, the doctors & health workers, in the health crisis the country is facing, this step has been taken.
The nationwide tally of confirmed infections neared 20,000 with new cases reported from various states and the death toll crossed 600, the Union Health Ministry officials said. The recovery rate has improved to 17.5 per cent and a record number of 705 patients were cured and discharged.