Updated: Jul 31, 2020
After the surprising circumstances in the field of the coronavirus outbreak, WHO, a few months later, qualified this plague as a virus. This happened after the disease had crept into almost every nation influencing hundreds of thousands of people and causing many deaths. It was at the beginning that the alliance was named plague after H1N1 in 2009. It left China which prevails at its peak in Italy, in the United States where the virus made more than 3400 verve and the pastorate indicates the population perish rate of the virus represents 1 life in 10 minutes.
India observed its first cases in Kerala in the district of Thrissur, then slowly the virus continued to dissipate throughout the region which is found in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Maharashtra with the highest number of cases tested positive. Still increasing and adding to the death toll. The councils complied with Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 which authorized the arbitrator of any specific area to issue an order to restrict the gathering of four or more people in a locality. All educational establishments were closed and also assessed the ban on social gatherings. The national and international flights were canceled and given the ruinous global issue, the Prime Minister of the country, Mr. Narendra Modi turned out to address the country to stay at their home in the form of a lock and also to avoid move to hospitals. To respond to these problems and limit this issue as soon as possible, each country needs a legal receptacle. A law that authorizes governments to take adequate measures to fight this pandemic.
Let us directly flinch into the existing laws that our country has, which provides to the Central as well as the State governments the appropriate force against the diseased person that is to put them in quarantine or to penalize the people or institute action that may violate the regulations made by the appropriate governments.
EPIDEMIC DISEASES, 1897
A plague called Bubonic Plague had struck Bombay at the end of the 19th century and had pleaded thousands of lives. This law introduced by the parliaments at the time is one of the smallest laws comprising only 4 sections
Anti – plague, activities to reduce the number of people who have fallen prey to the epidemic have involved police searches, isolation of the sick (quarantine), detention in traveler camps and evacuation forced from residents in parts of the city and the demolition of infection from places.
Section 1 of the Act deals with the title and scope when it clearly indicates that the legislation will be extended to the whole of India, except the territories which, immediately before November 1, 1956, were included in Part B states. (Now applicable to the whole country).
Section 2 of the Act delegates power to the State government/Union Territory when, at any time, it considers that part of its jurisdiction has been struck or threatened by an illness and that none other law does not provide for measures to limit the spread of the same, the government concerned can authorize or authorize any person to take such measures by public notices. It also prescribes that the regulations must be observed by the public or the institution or any category of people who may be necessary to curb the onset of this particular disease.
This framework gives the State government the power to make arrangements for the inspection of persons traveling by rail or otherwise and the separation, in hospital, in temporary accommodation or otherwise, of persons suspected by the inspection officer to be infected with such a disease.
Section 2A of the same law empowers the Central government to inspect any vessel or vessel leaving or arriving in a port and any person who intends to sail there or has sailed there.
Section 3 prescribes the penalty to be imposed on persons who may disobey any regulation or order adopted by the authority concerned or on any person to whom power may be attributed under this Law in accordance with Section 188 of IPC.
Section 4 of the Act clearly states that no prosecution or other legal proceeding may be brought against anyone for any act done in good faith and intended to be done under this Act.
Disaster Management Act, 2005
The center, in order to combat the new coronavirus, also invoked the provision of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The center invoked Section 10 of this law, which deals with the monitoring and implementation of the national plan prepared by the ministry.
This section confers the power on the Union’s Minister of the interior since he is the president of the National Executive Committee. But recently, he had delegated these powers to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which had ordered the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to make available surgical masks, disinfectants, hand washing because of the novel coronavirus in progress.
Recommendation for improving legislation (Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897) being dependent on a law passed 123 years ago like asking a 123-year-old-man to send an email instead of posting a letter, both unable to cope with the basic requirements of life today.
The country since independence has proposed various health laws, some of which have become law while others are still bills that need to be passed. One such project is the National Health Bill, 2009, which attempts to provide a legal framework for providing health services to citizens in extreme condition through collaboration between the Center and the State. Such a bill must be passed by the government and all the States must pass it.
Various states have their own health laws like the State of Madras, Punjab, Maharashtra, and Goa. These States have their own privacy provision for patients with life-threatening illnesses. For example, the laws of God allow authorities to disclose the name of the person living with HIV (AIDS). The Himachal Pradesh government has made provision for compulsory vaccination by amending the law on epidemic disease. It is therefore right that the priorities of one state may differ from another, but it is time that a uniform or common law be formulated, which obliges all States to hide under one roof and to fight a disease.
Section 2 of the 1897 Epidemic Disease Law provides that if the State government is satisfied if the ordinary provisions of the law are insufficient to deal with the dangerous epidemic, it can authorize anyone to take such measures. Here, everyone is a very vague term and the law must specify who should be empowered. India has finally evolved in the field of science and medicine has professionals in the same field who can be licensed.
The center should propose an epidemic disease control committee that could deal with future emergencies in countries linked to the epidemic. The board should have the power to decide whether a particular disease has the capacity to threaten the country or not. The board should be included with leading figures in the fields of science and medicine.
To combat such a belligerent situation, a nation needs an adequate legal framework that provides the authority with an appropriate force to combat such pandemic situations. Our country is doing its best to prevent its citizens from falling prey to this coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), but there is also a need to strengthen the 1897 Law on Epidemic Diseases. This law is the basis on which the entire response procedure is established.
No one can deny that the government is doing its best to save the precious lives of its citizens, but to prevent it from spreading it further, the government has to take some strict actions. It is the time that we show unity and solidarity among the citizens of this country to save our lives. Let us act as responsible citizens for the good of humanity.
STAY HOME STAY SAFE.