A doctor pelted with stones while screening residents of a locality here earlier this month, on Thursday welcomed the ordinance to protect healthcare workers on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus from acts of violence.
Trupti Katdare was part of the team trying to trace a person who came into contact with a COVID-19 patient. Unfazed by the attack, Katdare and another doctor Zakiya Sayyed had returned to the same spot the next day to resume the screening work.
"The new legal provision is a good step by the government and will definitely help millions of health workers like me in the battle against COVID-19. I am happy with this provision," Katdare, 40, told PTI.
"Everyone should understand that every health worker fighting COVID-19 is working to save the lives of others, disregarding their own," she said.
On Tuesday, she was in the same Tatpatti Bakhal area where she was attacked earlier, presenting saplings to 48 residents who returned to their homes after spending 14 days in quarantine.
Health workers and police personnel in Indore have suffered from non-cooperation, misbehavior, threats and attacks in various incidents during the past one month. Videos of many such incidents have also gone viral on social media.
Indore is among the districts most affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the country. According to official information, 945 COVID-19 patients have been found in the district till Thursday morning. Of these, 53 people have died during treatment, while 77 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovery.
The government on Wednesday issued the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, making acts of violence and harassment against healthcare personnel deployed in combating COVID-19 a non-bailable offence with maximum punishment of seven years imprisonment and Rs 5 lakh fine.
The ordinance will protect the healthcare fraternity, including doctors, nurses and ASHA workers