The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, making acts of violence against healthcare professionals a cognisable and non-bailable offence. The crime may attract imprisonment for a period between six months and seven years.
The number of coronavirus patients in India rose to 20,471 on Wednesday evening after 1,486 cases were reported, according to the health ministry. The toll increased by 49 to 652, while the number of patients who have recovered stood at 3,959.
The Indian Medical Association withdrew its symbolic protest against attacks on healthcare professionals after Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured them that the safety and dignity of doctors at their workplace is non-negotiable. IMA members had demanded a special central law against violence on doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and hospitals by an ordinance and to implement it on a priority basis.
The Congress called for suggestions on a financial package for small businesses that are hit badly by the countrywide lockdown in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The economy was already in a critical state and will get totally destabilised if the micro, small and medium enterprises struggle, party leader Rahul Gandhi said.
The West Bengal government said that it will fully cooperate with the Centre’s inter-ministerial team to review the coronavirus situation in the state. The team leaders had alleged that that the ruling Trinamool Congress was not providing them access to some districts.
A 57-year-old trader from Delhi’s Azadpur wholesale fruit and vegetable market died of the coronavirus on Tuesday. The death triggered panic among sellers in Asia’s biggest wholesale market, who urged the government to close it and initiate containment activities to avoid spread of the infection.
A doctor at Aligarh Muslim University’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Uttar Pradesh was suspended for alleged medical negligence after the district’s first death due to the coronavirus.
Fifty pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, have shut down operations after the region was declared a containment zone. Several other manufacturing units in the area, which is Asia’s largest pharmaceutical hub, have also significantly downsized operations, fuelling concerns about the impending shortage of medicines in the country.
An official from the ministry of civil aviation tested positive for the coronavirus. The employee was present in office on April 15 and was tested positive on April 21, the ministry said in a tweet. All colleagues who came in contact with the official were asked to go into self isolation as a precautionary measure.
Globally, the toll from the coronavirus pandemic crossed 1.77 lakh and more than 25.63 lakh declared cases have been found in 185 countries and territories, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.