Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police Sita Ram Mardi said on Monday that any Covid-19 patient who spits on another person, leading to that individual’s death, will be booked for murder, The Indian Express reported. He was probably referring to an incident in Kangra, where a 63-year-old woman – the first person reported to have the virus in Himachal Pradesh – spat on health workers while they were taking her to hospital.
“If any coronavirus patient spits on any other person, that patient will be booked for attempt to murder under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code,” Mardi said in a video message. Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code prescribes the penalty for murder.
Police officers said the woman had spat on health workers who had shifted her from her house to the isolation ward of a hospital in Tanda town. The woman was “forcibly isolated” on March 20, after testing positive for coronavirus, and was booked under Sections 188 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 188 of the code deals with penalty for disobedience to a duty duly promulgated by a public servant, and section 270 with penalty for “malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life”.
Mardi also said that 64 members of the Tablighi Jamaat sect isolated themselves on Monday after reporting to the police. The Tablighi Jamaat members put themselves in self-quarantine after the Himachal Pradesh Police ordered all those who attended an event in Delhi last month, or face action. Of these 64, 12 had attended the gathering at Markaz in Delhi while 52 had come in contact with those who attended the event.
Meanwhile, the police are trying to trace all contacts of a Tablighi Jamaat member who tested positive for the virus on Sunday. The train and other modes of transport which he used to travel from Delhi to his hometown in Gangath village in Kangra have been identified.
At least 13 people have been found infected in Himachal Pradesh so far, of which one person has died and two have been cured, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Nationwide, 4,421 people have tested positive, 114 have died and 325 have been cured.