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Bihar Epidemic Disease Regulations-2020 enforced to tame coronavirus outbreak

Under the regulations, private laboratories have been debarred to take test or sample for COVID-19 and all hospitals have been directed to develop 'Flu-Corners' as mandatory for screening.

Published: 17th March 2020 10:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2020 10:40 PM   |  A+A-

Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey with Principal Secretary (Health) Sanjay Kumar inspecting  Pataliputra Ashoka hotel being converted into a mega-quarantine center in Patna

Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey with Principal Secretary (Health) Sanjay Kumar inspecting Pataliputra Ashoka hotel being converted into a mega-quarantine center in Patna. (Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

PATNA: Threatened with the coronavirus outbreak and growing number of people being enrolled for observations everyday, the state government in Bihar on Tuesday enforced the "Bihar Epidemic Disease Regulations-2020" (BEDR) to tame the emerging threats of its infection. 

The Director in Chief (Infectious Diseases) at the state level, district magistrate, civil surgeon and the additional chief medical officer at district level and the sub-divisional magistrate and medical officer-in-charge at subdivision levels have been authorised and empowered to take all out efforts  in case of medical emergency to tackle the menace.

Principal secretary (Health department) Sanjay Kumar, who is himself monitoring the entire lot of preparations on the outbreak of COVID-19, said, "With the enforcement of the BEDR-2020, all hospitals, both run by governmennt and private, have been directed to develop 'Flu-Corners' as mandatory for screening of suspected cases of COVID-19."

In Bihar till date, 311 persons have been enrolled for observation under "Home Quarantine" and total 57 samples have been collected for the clinical test of COVID-19. 

Kumar adds that the BEDR-2020 has made it essential for all hospitals to maintain the record of history of the travel of suspected persons, if they have travelled to any country or area, infested with outbreak of this disease.

"The false propaganda or misinformation on this disease by a person, institution and organisation through print, electronic or social media has been totally banned. In case, any person or institution or organisation is found indulging in such prohibited activity with a malafide intent, it will be treated as a punishable offence under the regulations," he warned while stating about the objective of regulations. 

Under the regulations, private laboratories have been debarred to take test or sample for COVID-19. "Samples shall only be collected as per guidelines of government of India only by the designated laboratory by the nodal officer of a designated hospital," he said. 

Any person with history of travel after February 29 this year to a country or areas from where COVID-19 has been reported, must have to report now to the nearest government hospital or call a toll free helpline number 104 for necessary measures and if required, may be taken by health department. 

The regulations have authorised officials to admit suspected cases of COVID-19 forcefully in isolation wards. Kumar also said that if anyone refuses to co-operate the surveillance teams of health department in taking the suspect case to an isolation ward, district magistrate of cornered district has been empowered to take a coercive action under section 133 of CrPC,1973. 

The most dramatic action under these regulations, authorised to be taken, is that district magistrate can also seal the geographic area barring entry and exit points of areas and ban vehicle movement in the area. 

This regulation shall remain valid for a period of one year from the date of notification done on March 17. 

MEGA QUARANTINE CENTRE

  • In a full fledged arrangement, the state health department in Patna has converted a government-owned 3-star hotel namely the Pataliputra-Ashoka into a mega quarantine centre in Patna. Kumar said that 46 rooms, 2 suits and 2 large halls of this hotel have been converted into an isolation ward. 

  • "It will have accomodating capacity of 200 suspected or positive cases at a time under a foolproof medical observation and arrangements," he said. 20 rooms out of its total 46 rooms have become ready. 

  • He said that it is for the first time in the state that a hotel has been converted into a mega quarantine centre in Bihar. The hotel was closed for a year after the government of India refused to run it citing various commercial reasons. The hotel is built on the land of state government with all facilities of a 3-star hotel.



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