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Any misconduct in quarantine centres will amount to non-bailable charges equivalent to "attempt to murder", Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Thursday, June 4.
Several reports of ruckus by inmates at various quarantine centres in state's Bongaigaon and Chirang districts have recently come to light, provoking the state health minister to jump into action.
Inmates in Bongaigaon's quarantine facility had allegedly abused the health workers over poor quality of food.
In another instance, in Chirang, the inmates had fled from the centre and complained about the food quality after getting caught. In Golaghat, some people were found spitting inside the compound, despite strict instructions that bodily fluids can be carriers of the deadly virus.
"Those who are creating any sort of obstructions to the health workers while doing their duties, any sort of misconduct, will lead to their arrest, and (accused) will be consecutively booked under non-bailable charges such as an attempt to murder," Sarma strictly said on Thursday.
He further added that patients can get in touch with him directly if they have any concerns inside the quarantine centres.
The minister has helped many who have raised queries directly with him through his social media accounts.
"We are going through a sensitive time and the moral of the health workers, who are fighting the COVID-19 battle for us in the frontline, should not be hampered. Also, such kind of negligence by those in quarantine centres can put other's lives at risk. A steadfast action against them is the call of the hour," Binisha Devi, a health worker said.
As of now, Assam has charged any accused with IPC section 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and section 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), both bailable with a jail term of six months only.
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