The Yogi government had been proactive in dealing with the last man made disaster to hit the state — officials had seized the properties of rioters who’d damaged public property during the CAA riots, and then had publicly displayed their pictures to get them to pay up. It is now showing the same alacrity in dealing with a natural disaster as well.
The Yogi government has invoked Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. According to the provisions of the act, any suspect who hides the symptoms of COVID-19 or refuses quarantine and medical assistance and raises obstacles to the government response to tackle the outbreak will face jail and fine under section 188 IPC. The central government had already invoked Epidemic Diseases Act Section 2 in its fight to control the spread of Coronavirus. Section 2 of the Act makes Health Ministry advisories enforceable. Since Health is a state subject, the state was supposed to invoke Section 3 of the act.
The Lucknow administration has also ordered legal action against those suspects who do not cooperate in the prevention of coronavirus. The District Magistrate said that if any suspected patient of coronavirus or a person who comes in contact with such affected do not co-operate with the authorities, then it is considered to be obstructing the government in its fight to contain the epidemic. Under the new regulation, the accused can be imprisoned for up to six months and fined up to one thousand rupees or both.
The move comes as several suspected coronavirus patients across the country have run away from hospitals or refused to be admitted. The wife of a Google techie based out of Bangalore who had contracted coronavirus had allegedly taken a flight and a train to reach her hometown in Agra, and then had tried to hide from the health authorities. In Karnataka, four men had refused to be quarantined and threatened health officials claiming that the treatment was against Islam. In Punjab, seven people suspected to be infected with coronavirus had gone missing. Two American tourists had also escaped from their hospital in Kerala after they were suspected to be infected with coronavirus.