New Delhi: An hour after the Centre said that an ordinance will be brought in to end the violence against health workers, the Union Home Ministry on Wednesday wrote a letter to all states and UTs, asking them to provide adequate security to healthcare professionals, medical staff and frontline workers to prevent violence against them. Also Read - Coronavirus: Attack on Health Workers Won’t be Tolerated; Jail up to 7 Years if Found Guilty, Says Centre
In the letter, the MHA wrote that strict action will be taken against those who obstruct the performance of last rites of coronavirus warriors succumbing to COVID-19. Also Read - After Tiff With Centre Over COVID-19 Teams, Bengal Gives 'Highest Assurances' to Abide by All Union Govt Orders
“You are aware that the whole-hearted and untiring services rendered by the entire medical fraternity, while even risking their lives, has enabled the country to resist the spread of the highly infectious COVID-19 virus, which has already been declared as a pandemic by the WHO. At this time of any single incident of violence against healthcare professionals is likely to create a sense of insecurity among the entire healthcare community,” the MHA wrote in the letter to the states. Also Read - Coronavirus: 'Situation Serious in Mumbai, Pune, Indore, Jaipur And West Bengal,' MHA Tells States
Writing the letter, Chief Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that it is the responsibility of all the states and UTS to take all necessary measures to ensure adequate protection to healthcare professionals.
In the letter, he said that the measures in this regard to be taken should be finalised in consultation with the local chapters of the Indian Medical Association and the members of the IMA should be kept apprised of the actions taken to create a sense of security and confidence among healthcare fraternity.
“The state and UTs are requested to appoint a nodal officer who can be available 24×7 to address any safety issue of the healthcare professional. They should also take immediate and strict action in case any incident of violence takes place,” he wrote in the letter.
The development comes after a number of attacks and stone pelting happened on health workers across the country in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.