Rajya Sabha passes Epidemic Diseases Amendment Bill to protect health workers (File Photo)
The Rajya Sabha on Saturday passed a law in the interest of health workers. Under this, a provision of punishment of up to five years has been made for those who attack health workers during the battle against covid-19 or any other pandemic-like situation.
Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill:
The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced by Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan in the Upper House on Saturday to change the ordinance issued by the government into law in April. The Union Cabinet had already approved amendment to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
In such a situation, the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 was introduced to protect property workers from working and living as well as violence during pandemics.
The Bill ensures that zero tolerance towards violence or property damage against health workers will be taken in any form during any situation like the current epidemic. Health workers include public and clinical healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, paramedical workers, and community health workers.
Further any other person who has been empowered to take measures under the Act to prevent the outbreak or spread of the disease or in the event of violence against an officer authorized by the State Government, shall also exercise zero tolerance.
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Imprisonment of five year if attacked Medical workers:
The Bill states that such crimes will be investigated by an officer of the rank of inspector within a period of 30 days and the case will have to be disposed of within a year by prosecuting. According to its provisions, those who commit violence will be sentenced to imprisonment ranging from three months to five years and fines ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh.
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