Those refusing to follow coronavirus prevention, treatment orders will be penalised: J&K

This was declared in a four-page notification issued by the Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo, following an order of Lt Governor.

Published: 17th March 2020 03:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2020 03:53 PM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (Photo | Vinay Madapu, EPS)


JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has declared the coronavirus infection an epidemic and said any person who refuses to follow orders on prevention or treatment of the disease would be dealt under the law.

This was declared in a four-page notification issued by the Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo, following an order of Lt Governor Girish Chander Murmu.

So far, three patients have tested positive for coronavirus in the Union Territory, where normal life virtually came to a standstill with the government imposing prohibitory orders banning assembly of more than four persons in almost all districts to counter the disease's threat.

The government has already closed down all educational institutions, multiplexes, cinema halls, shopping malls, food courts, parks and gardens, clubs and roadside eateries till March 31.

Announcing the regulations under the Epidemic Diseases Act, the notification said the Jammu and Kashmir Epidemic Diseases (COVID-19) Regulations, 2020, would come into force with immediate effect and will have jurisdiction over the entire Union Territory.

"Surveillance personnel have been empowered to enter any such premises after giving reasonable opportunity to the owner or occupier for the purpose of surveillance of instances of fever or cough or respiratory difficulty, enquire into or undertake the physical examination as they think fit, the notification read.

"Such persons shall be bound to cooperate and render all possible assistance to facilitate such surveillance, inspection, enquiry and examinations," it read.

Surveillance personnel, who will be designated by districts magistrates, have been empowered to direct, arrange or put suspected persons under home quarantine or escort them to an institutional quarantine facility or isolation facility, the notification read.

However, it said "if the owner or occupier(s) of any premises or any individual suspected or confirmed with COVID-19, refuses to take measures for prevention or treatment including home quarantine, institutional quarantine or isolation, or refuses to cooperate" with surveillance personnel and authorities, they will invite the "provisions of Section 133 of the Code ofCriminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)," it read.

The magistrates can also pass any other coercive action as they deem necessary and expedient for enforcing the cooperation and assistance.

However, in the case of a minor, such order will be directed to the guardian or any other adult member of the family, the notification read.

"Anyone who contravenes any of the provisions of these regulations or disobeys an order and obstructs the performance of functions, duties and responsibilities entrusted upon any authority under these regulations, shall be deemed to have committed an offence under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860)," it read.

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