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Flu scare: Epidemic Act may be invoked (India)
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Author:  Siam [ Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Flu scare: Epidemic Act may be invoked (India)

Flu scare: Epidemic Act may be invoked (India)
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city ... 306145.cms
6 December 2009

JAIPUR: Though the state government is contemplating to invoke Epidemic Act 1897 in Jaipur and Jodhpur, no concrete decision on when and how to implement the Act was taken on Saturday.

Health officials were tightlipped about the developments and were waiting to get the feedback from a three member team which was on a visit to Jodhpur, from where maximum casualties have been reported.

The team, which was in Jodhpur, visited three city hospitals to take stock of of the situation. They inspected the testing facilities at the DMRC laboratory, saw the facilities in outdoors of three hospitals and inspected their upkeep. While none of the team members were available for any official remark it is being learnt that they were satisfied with the facilities available and headed back to Jaipur.

The district administration in Jodhpur also remained tightlipped on the issue of invoking the Act, which once applied ensures that authorities get all required powers to deal with the pandemic. Once the Act is invoked, it authorizes the district administration to quarantine any person, use any building or hospital and ask for compulsory cleanliness in any part of the state. It gives the authorities power to close public places like malls, movie halls, market places and schools. The Act authorizes private hospitals who have not been roped in to fight the pandemic to come under the purview of the district administration.

"This Act, if implemented, will be a precautionary step to prevent the spread of the disease. It will empower the district administration to take decisive actions on its own and not wait for orders from the chief minister's office. It might come in handy when if the collector feels that a particular part of the district is to be isolated or schools are to be shut down. Such powers will make the process of containing the spread more effective and speedy," said a senior health official.

Also, it is being learnt that any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

So far, governments of Maharastra, Delhi, Gujarat, Goa and Haryana have invoked the 112-year-old Act to contain the pandemic, which has yielded favourable results. Apart from this, the state health department will be sending teams

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