New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Lok Sabha on Monday gave its ascent to the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 through a voice vote. Shiv Sena, RLP and JD (U) also extended support to the legislation extends protection to frontline workers, including healthcare professionals.

The bill has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha. Drawing parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and the Bubonic plague, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said "it is an empowering Act. We have empowered States so that they can claim the insurances of COVID warriors who pass away." He also informed the House that the government has been working on the draft of the National Public Health Act.

Listed below are the key points of the legislation.

The bill aims to send across the message of zero-tolerance to any form of violence against frontline workers engaged in health sector and damage to their property.

The legislation makes harm, injury, hurt or danger to the life of healthcare service personnel as a cognizable and non-bailable offence.

It has provisions of imprisonment from three months to five years and a fine between 50 thousand rupees to two lakh rupees.

The legislation extends protection to healthcare service personnel from public and clinical healthcare service providers such as doctors, nurses, paramedical workers and community health workers and any other persons empowered under the act to take measures to prevent the outbreak of the disease.

The provisions can be invoked in instances of damage to property such as a clinical establishment, any facility identified for quarantine and isolation of patients, mobile medical units and any other property in which the healthcare service personnel have direct interest in relation to the epidemic.

The Bill was tabled by Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in Rajya Sabha on Saturday to replace an ordinance issued by the government in April.

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha