New Delhi: At a time when a number of attacks and stone pelting are happening on health workers across the country at this time of coronavirus crisis, the Central government on Wednesday said that it has brought an ordinance to end violence against health workers. The ordinance carries imprisonment from 6 months to 7 years if anyone found guilty, the government said. Also Read - IPL 2021: Totally Opposite to Wankhede, Feeling Great to Win in Chennai - Orange Cap Holder Shikhar Dhawan After Delhi Capitals Beat Mumbai Indians

Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that health workers who are trying to save the country from this epidemic are unfortunately facing attacks. “No incident of violence or harassment, against them will be tolerated. An ordinance has been brought in, it’ll be implemented after President’s sanction,” he said. Also Read - Coronavirus in India Live Updates April 21, 2021: Free Vaccines in Assam For All Above 18; Delhi Hospitals Run Short of Beds

Javadekar said that in case of grievous injuries are caused to the health workers by attackers, the accused can be sentenced from 6 months to 7 years. He also said that the accused can be penalised from Rs 1 Lakh to Rs 5 Lakhs. Also Read - Former US Cop Derek Chauvin Found Guilty On All Charges In George Floyd's Death

“Acts of violence against healthcare service personnel will be made cognisable, non-bailable offences. Stringent provisions of punishment will be brought in the proposed ordinance,” Javadekar said.

He said that if the damage is done to the vehicles or clinics of healthcare workers, then a compensation amounting to twice the market value of the damaged property will be taken from the accused.

Moreover, the amendment will be made to Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Ordinance will be implemented.

The Union Minister also said that the health briefings will now be reduced to 4 days a week, press releases and Cabinet briefing on alternate days.

“No decision has been taken yet on the resumption of flight operations. An announcement will be made on time as to when it will resume,” Javadekar added.

The development comes after 60 more people were arrested in connection with attack on police and health workers on COVID-19 duty at Padarayanapura in Bengaluru.

Police had on Monday said 59 people had been arrested in connection with the incident during which a large number of residents gathered and thrashed the health workers, who visited the area to quarantine contacts of a COVID-19 patient, and also some locals who came to their rescue.