MHA asks states to ensure adequate security to healthcare workers

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The Centre on Wednesday asked all states and Union Territories to provide adequate security to doctors and frontline health workers who are facing attacks from unruly people.

In a letter to Chief Secretaries of all states and UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also flagged a few heinous instances of unruly behaviour by people where the families and relatives of medical professionals, suspected to have died due to COVID-19 infection, were prevented from performing the last rites of the deceased.

“In such cases, adequate security should be provided, and stringent action should be taken against such offenders who obstruct the performance of last rites of medical professionals or frontline healthcare workers, who, unfortunately, succumb to the infection from COVID-19 while discharging their services, or otherwise,” the letter said.

The MHA has further requested state governments/UT Administrations to appoint Nodal Officers at state/UT level and at the district level, who would be available 24×7 to redress any safety issue on the functioning of medical professionals.

Meanwhile, the Centre has passed an ordinance to end violence against health workers, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 | Govt rolls out ‘zero tolerance’ law to protect health workers from attacks

The Ministry has urged upon all state/UT and district authorities to invoke the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, or any other law in force, to take strict penal action against the offenders.

This is the fourth time that the Ministry has asked the states/UTs to ensure the safety of the frontline health workers.

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