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Health minister Harsh Vardhan
Health minister Harsh Vardhan

Persons violating home quarantine rules will be punished: Govt

The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which is currently enforced in India, lays down punishment as per Section 188 of the IPC for flouting such orders

NEW DELHI : Those persons directed to be in home quarantine over suspicion of novel coronavirus infection, if found violating the rule, will be punished, government said on Wednesday.

In India around 64,000 persons have arrived from other countries to India since 21st March, 2020 out of which 8,000 have been put in various quarantine facilities and 56,000 are in home isolation.

As the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 which is currently enforced in India, lays down punishment as per Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for flouting such orders. As per the Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act there are penalties for disobeying any regulation or order made under the Act that is simple imprisonment for 6 months or fine of 1000 or both.

“We are fighting an infectious disease. In order to protect ourselves and others, it is highly important that we follow all the protocols, guidelines and directions issued by the government, failing which may lead to legal actions u/s 188 of IPC," said Lav Aggarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare.

The decision was taken during the group of ministers (GoM) meeting on prevention and management of COVID-19 in India. The GOM discussed the actions taken so far, current status of social distancing measures as a preventive strategy and the stringent actions to contain the spread of COVID-19 by the States so far.

Harsh Vardhan union health minister reiterated his appeal to all those who have are in home and facility quarantine about observing it according to the protocol laid down by the Health Ministry which is available at the Ministry of health and family welfare website.

“We discussed that how to do strengthening capacity of states, which need to devote adequate resources for creating dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, equipping the medical institutes with PPEs, ventilators and other essential equipment etc," said Aggarwal.

“States have been asked to ensure that essential services and supplies remain open. These include hospitals, medical shops and establishments engaged in manufacturing of medicines, vaccines, sanitizers, masks and medical devices," he said.

GoM was also informed that Gujarat, Assam, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Goa, Karnataka, MP and J&K are setting up hospitals dedicated for the management of COVID-19. A total of 118 laboratories have been included in the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) network of COVID19 testing.

Government has also been increasing the network of laboratories testing the covid-19. “At least 29 laboratories have been registered by the government for testing of covid-19 and these laboratories have more than 16000 collections centres," said Aggarwal.

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