NEW DELHI: 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 measures to be taken in this regard should be finalised in consultation with local chapters of Indian Medical Association and the members of the IMA should be kept apprised of the actions taken to create a sense of security and confidence among the health fraternity,” he said.