MP Govt Invokes ESMA Act to Tackle Covid-19 Spread as Infections Continue to Rise Unabated

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As Covid-19 infections continue to rise unabated across Madhya Pradesh, the state government has imposed Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) on health services which imply that no physician or para-medical staff could decline to work in the next three months. And no hospital can refuse admission to any patient.

Health services have been listed among essential services for the next three months in the wake of a surge in Covid-19 cases, said Addl Principal Secretary (Home) Dr. Rajesh Rajora. A gazette notification has also been issued in this regard, he added.

Under the provisions of the act, all the private and government sector health services, doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, sanitation workers in the sector, those engaged in sales, transportation, and storage of drugs, equipment, and other products, along with other services used by the health sector- water, power supply, security, and bio-medical waste management have been listed among essential services.

Underlining the gravity of the situation, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan stressed on usage of masks and social distancing at public places. "Our most efforts are directed at controlling the virus assault without imposing lockdown which hampers public's work and earning," he said.

This comes days after a Covid-19 positive man died after he was denied admission in eight hospitals in Indore. Meanwhile, the usage of protective face masks has been advised and authorities have started penalising those who fail to obey Covid-19 protocols. Police teams are putting up barricades and penalising people without wearing masks.