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Rs 5 lakh penalty, 7-year jail: UP govt mulling ordinance to protect corona warriors

The ordinance is being drafted to make the provisions of punishment in consonance with the recent amendments made by the Central Government to the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Published: 29th April 2020 08:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2020 08:28 PM   |  A+A-

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: In a bid to nip the recurring attacks on corona warriors, Yogi Adityanath government on Wednesday proposed to issue an ordinance by making amendment in the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to give a legal armour to protect the health workers, paramedical staff, doctors, sanitary workers, and police personnel deployed to deal with COIVD-19 patients.

The ordinance is being drafted to make the provisions of punishment for the assaulters of corona warriors stricter in consonance with the recent amendments made by the Central Government to the Epidemic Diseases Act.

According to the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Home, Avanish Awasthi, the ordinance with the amendment made by the UP government - Uttar Pradesh Epidemic Disease Covid-19 Regulations, 2020 - will be introduced at the earliest.

As per the proposed ordinance, provisions for penalty up to Rs 5 lakh and a jail term from six months to seven years have been made to protect the corona warriors. The amendment will come into effect as soon as the ordinance is issued.

“This ordinance would remain in effect till June 23 after which the state government will bring the guidelines,” said state Law Minister Brijesh Pathak. He added that so far the state government was taking action against those who used to indulge in violence against the health workers, nursing staff, doctors and cops under the provisions of the National Security Act (NSA). “But the new ordinance would give all of them a protective gear against such attacks, said the minister.

There have been a number of cases of assault, stone-pelting and spitting at the corona warriors across the state. Spitting on corona warriors will also be an offence under the provisions of the proposed ordinance.

In another significant move, CM Yogi directed the officials concerned to make arrangements of additional 52,000 beds in the Covid-19 hospitals across the state.

According to Awasthi, while 17,000 beds would be added by the health department, 35,000 beds would be added by the Medical Educational Department.

"The Health Department will increase 10,000 beds in level one (L1), 5,000 beds in level two (L2 with oxygen) and 2,000 beds in level three (L3 with ventilator) facilities. The Medical Education Department will increase 20,000 beds in L1, 10,000 beds in L2 and 5,000 beds in L3 facilities in the state," he
said.

Meanwhile, the CM has also directed the officials to commence community surveillance of quarantine shelters by roping in volunteers associated with different social organisations.

The state government has also decided to sanitize all houses in Covid-19 hotspot areas  to control the further spread of the virus in the state. The state coronavirus tally has touched 2115 with 36 patients dead.

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