Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has directed the district administration to initiate stern action against those imposing social boycott of coronavirus patients or their families. Such incidents have surfaced in Mumbai and Pune.
A Public Health Department officer told the FPJ that after a few such instances were reported, the government swung into action and has asked the police to be on vigil. ‘‘This is to avoid any hardship to family members who are struggling to cope up with the situation.’’
Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram has issued an order saying that FIR will be lodged against housing society members forcing social boycott of coronavirus patients, family members and relatives. He has specifically warned housing society office bearers, especially chairmen and secretary, in this regard.
“Some citizens who returned after travelling to affected countries have been kept in isolation at their homes so as not to spread the virus, incase they are infected. These citizens should not be harassed or expelled by citizens from their housing societies,’’ Ram said.
‘‘In such an event, action will be taken against the concerned under Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code”, states the order issued by Ram, who is also the Chairman of Pune District Disaster Management Authority.
Minister of Public Health Rajesh Tope held a press conference in Mumbai where he clarified that coronavirus is not an airborne disease but spreads person-to-person.
‘‘Social distancing is the buzzword. People should avoid unnecessary travel, gatherings,'’ he explained.
He reminded that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has appealed to all citizens to actively cooperate with the government to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Further, the cyber police in all cities and districts has been already told to take action against those indulging in rumour mongering through social media.