Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said there can be no compromise on the safety of healthcare professionals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and asserted that the ordinance approved by the Union cabinet shows the government’s commitment in this regard.
He said the ordinance will ensure the safety of our professionals.
“There can be no compromise on their safety!,” PM Modi tweeted, and added that the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 “manifested the government’s commitment to protecting each and every healthcare worker who is bravely battling COVID-19 on the frontline.”
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance, making acts of violence and harassment against healthcare personnel deployed in combating COVID-19 a non-bailable offence with a maximum punishment of seven years imprisonment and Rs 5 lakh fine.
The ordinance will protect the whole healthcare fraternity, including doctors, nurses and ASHA workers, an official release said.
Amid rising incidents of violence against healthcare workers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, the IMA had called for a nation-wide ‘White Alert’, asking doctors and hospitals across the country to light candles on Wednesday as a protest against such attacks.
However, earlier in the day, the association called off the protest after a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had also been demanding a Central law to deal with the crimes against healthcare professionals.