New Delhi: – Anyone attacking the doctors and medical personnel in service, could face imprisonment up to 7 years. This has also been made a non-bailable offence. The union government has amended the 123-year-old law, for the security of the medical personnel and has implemented the provisions through an ordinance.
The incident of attacks on medical personnel has increased during this coronavirus pandemic. Annoying reports of attacks on the medical units, deputed for Coronavirus screening, are being received. One of the doctors died in the attack in Chennai. The miscreants even attacked the ambulance, which was carrying his dead body. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had warned of agitation, given these developments.
Given the warning for an agitation, issued by the IMA, the Union Home Minister held discussions with the IMA representatives, through videoconferencing. The unrest was withdrawn when the Home Minister gave an assurance that tough action will be taken against the attackers. Following this, a decision to amend the ‘Epidemic Disease Act, 1897’, was taken in the meeting of the Union Cabinet, held in the afternoon. The amendment has been implemented through an ordinance signed by the President.
As per the contents of the ordinance, the attack on doctors or any other medical personnel is a non-bailable offence. Javdekar said that while all these people are fighting against Coronavirus, risking their own lives, any attacks against them will not be tolerated. There has been a persistent demand for a strict law of this nature, against the attackers of doctors and medical personnel, for many years.