March 17, 2020
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has warned of strict action including jail for those who don’t cooperate in the state’s effort to control the novel coronavirus outbreak and spread misinformation or rumours to create panic in the society.
Speaking to India Today, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh said, “The authorities have been given power under section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act to take all necessary actions in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. We will take action against any suspect if he/she refuses to get tested or run away from authorities. Action will also be taken against any person who tries to hide such patients, misleads or obstructs the health team from conducting its duty. If required, offenders will also be sent to jail as per the law.”
“Our government is fully prepared and the situation in the state is completely under control. There is no need for anyone to panic and people should take precautionary measures advised by the government. UP CM will hold another review meeting on March 20 where further decisions will be taken depending on the situation. We have given special training to 800 doctors and more than 1,200 beds have been reserved across the state in district hospitals and medical colleges” said Jai Pratap Singh.
The health minister also said that the state government has launched an awareness program, including in rural areas to inform people about the precautions that must be taken. On the orders of the chief minister, the UP government has closed cinema halls, multiplex, clubs and swimming pools in 11 districts of the state, including Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Noida and Agra as a precautionary measure.
Schools, colleges and institutes where examinations are not happening have also been shut till March 22. The government has also cancelled large gatherings.
Reacting to the state government’s decision to take action for non-cooperation in the effort to tackle novel coronavirus, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Anurag Bhadauriya said, “I think the government needs to send a positive message in the society at present so that there is no panic. I would also like to urge people to take the necessary precautions.”