Lucknow, Apr 29 (PTI) The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to bring an ordinance specifying stiff penalties for attacking doctors and other frontline COVID-19 workers, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Wednesday The move comes days after the Centre promulgated a similar ordinance to deter attacks on medical personnel as they try to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The UP ordinance is expected to allow up to seven years in prison for those found guilty of attacking doctors, paramedics, police personnel and sanitation workers.
Sources said it will also specify punishment for those escaping from quarantine.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said his government has begun work on a “comprehensive amendment” to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1997.
Adityanath praised the work done by frontline workers trying to beat coronavirus. “At this time some people are attacking health workers, sanitation workers and security personnel. This is an unpardonable sin and cannot be tolerated,' he said.
'Keeping this in mind, we have started work on a comprehensive amendment to the Epidemic Act, 1897,” he said.
“If anyone attacks security personnel, health workers, sanitation workers and corona warriors, they will face seven years of imprisonment and Rs 5 lakh fine,” he added.
“We are going to incorporate this in the amendment,' he said.
Sources said the ordinance will also cover offences like spitting in public. Those misbehaving and acting indecently towards medical staff will also face action under the amended law, they said.
“On the instructions of the chief minister, it has been decided to bring an ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Information) Awanish Awasthi told reporters.
“The chief minister has directed to bring this ordinance immediately. The ordinance will strengthen security for doctors, nurses and other medical staff, as well as boost their morale and help them protect people from the novel coronavirus infection,' he added.
Uttar Pradesh has seen cases of people attacking healthcare workers and policemen and misbehaving with nurses while in quarantine.
The Uttar Pradesh decision comes a week after the promulgation of Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 at the Centre to protect healthcare workers.
An ordinance is a stopgap law, promulgated when the legislature is not in session. PTI SAB NAV ASH ASH