New Delhi: The Centre asked Wednesday 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 Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also flagged a few heinous instances of unruly behaviour by people. In such cases the families and relatives of medical professionals, suspected to have died due to COVID-19 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, succumbed to the infection from COVID-19 while discharging their services, or otherwise,” the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) letter said.
Bhalla said the state governments and Union Territory administrations have been also requested to appoint nodal officers at district level. They would be available 24×7 to redress any safety issue on the functioning of medical professionals.
The states and Union Territories should also take immediate and strict action in case any incident of violence takes place, said Bhalla.
Bhalla also said necessary police security should also be extended to doctors and other medical staff who visit places to conduct screening of people to find out symptoms of disease.
The home secretary’s letter came hours after a delegation of doctors and Indian Medical Association (IMA) had an interaction with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who assured them security for healthcare workers.
The central government Wednesday also decided to promulgate an ordinance specifying penal provisions against those who attack on healthcare workers.