As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise at a rapid speed in the country and several states have gone into lockdown in order to tackle the spreading of the virus that has killed around 15,000 people worldwide. The Central government has instructed that all states should be advised to invoke the necessary provisions of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 to enforce all advisories. Amidst this several states have halted their interstate bus and railway connectivity until further notice and have taken several other steps. Here we will be explaining in detail what 1897 Epidemic Disease Act is and how a 123-year-old law will help India in fighting against the coronavirus.
What is Section 2 of the 1897 Act?
1897 Epidemic Disease Act gives power to the government to take special measures and prescribe regulations to stop the dangerous epidemic diseases. Under this act, temporary provisions or regulations can be made to be observed by the public to tackle or prevent the outbreak of a disease. It may also give authorities the power to inspect people travelling from one state to another, and the segregation, in hospital, temporary accommodation or otherwise, of people suspected by the inspecting officer of being infected with any such epidemic viral disease.
The act further states, “The Central Government may take measures and prescribe regulations for the inspection of any ship or vessel leaving or arriving at any port into the territories to which this act extends.”
People who have a travel history to any of the coronavirus-affected nations or people who were in close contact with the ones who have been affected by the virus must stay under 14-day self-quarantine and get tested for the coronavirus. People are advised to avoid going to public places unless it is really important. Stay at home, stay safe