Rajasthan: Strikes by healthcare workers illegal as state govt extends RESMA

Doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and employees in other medical services will not be able to go on strike for the next six months in Rajasthan. The state government on Thursday extended the duration of the Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act by six months.

RESMA had been imposed in the state on March 14 last year in view of the spread of coronavirus in the state. It had then been extended from September 2020 till March 2021 and it has again been extended for another six months, till September 14, 2021.

The home department issued a notification extending the duration of RESMA in the state.

The health department had sent a proposal to the home department seeking extension of RESMA in view of the rising Covid-19 cases in the state and the ongoing Covid vaccination drive. On Thursday, 203 Covid-19 cases were reported in the state, taking the total to 322,281. The death toll in the state is 2789. The active cases which were 1304 on March 1,have risen to 2142.

Under RESMA, all strikes and protests are illegal and those indulging in such acts are liable to be arrested without warrant.

RESMA covers under its ambit all doctors nurses, para medical staff, ambulance drivers and all other medical staff. Several employee organisations that are linked to medical services have been planning strikes in support of their demands.

The government was apprehensive that the strike would disrupt services at a time when Covid-19 cases are seeing a rise and would hit the ongoing inoculation drive and it decided to extend RESMA by another six months.

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