New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday asked states and Union Territories to comply with the Supreme Court order to provide security to doctors and medical staff involved in the fight against coronavirus.
The MHA has sent this communication to all chief secretaries of state governments, UTs, Director General of Police of all states/UTs and the Delhi Police Commissioner.
On April 8, the Supreme Court ordered the Centre, states/UTs and police authorities to provide police security to the doctors and medical staff in hospitals and places, including quarantine facilities, where patients are diagnosed or suspected of COVID-19. The protection should be extended to doctors and other medical staff visiting places to conduct screening of people to find out symptoms of disease.
"It is requested that necessary action may be taken for compliance of the order", said Srinivasu K, Deputy Secretary, MHA.
Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat passed the order on pleas raising concerns about protective gear for doctors and healthcare workers on the frontline, and also their security amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The apex court noted the incident which happened on April 2 in a locality in Indore, where medical staff with doctors, out to screen certain persons for coronavirus, were attacked and stones were thrown at them by miscreants. The top court also noted the incident at Ghaziabad where certain patients misbehaved with medical staff.
The court observed the pandemic is a national calamity. "In the wake of calamity of such nature, all citizens of the country have to act in a responsible manner to extend a helping hand to the government and medical staff to perform their duties to contain and combat the COVID-19. The incidents as noted above are bound to instill a sense of insecurity among doctors and medical staff", said the court.