Various instances of healthcare workers being attacked have been making news around the country. So, the cabinet has approved an ordinance against these violent cases. 

The Union government has declared these offences as non-bailable with stringent punishments like jail term of up to seven years and a hefty fine.  

Union minister Prakash Javadekar said,   

Health workers, who are trying to save the country from this epidemic, are unfortunately facing attacks. No incident of violence or harrasamemnt, against them will be tolerated. An ordinance has been brought in, it’ll be implemented after President’s sanction. 

In addition to the ‘zero-tolerance’ policy against such offences, Javadekar spoke in detail about the punishment, 

Any attack on doctors or health workers will be liable to a penalty of anywhere between Rs 50,000 and Rs 2 lakh in non-serious cases and Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for serious offences, where there are reports of serious injury. In addition to this, there will also be a jail term. a minimum of 6 months and up to 5 years for non-serious offences and up to 7 years for serious cases. This will be a non-bailable offence. 

The proposed ordinance will amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 which will provide compensation for injury to healthcare service personnel or for causing damage or loss to property.