Kohima, Mar 19 : In an attempt to combat the alarming spread of Covid-19, the State Government has notified the Nagaland Epidemic Disease (COVID-19) Regulations 2020, apart from directing both Government and private hospitals to set up Covid-19 screening corners and centres for screening suspected cases.
According to sources, Nagaland does not have a single case of the virus so far, but looking after the threat posed by it, the State Government issued the Nagaland Epidemic Diseases, Covid-19 Regulations, 2020 as a temporary regulation under sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. The regulation directs all Government and private hospitals in the State to have a Covid-19 screening centre set up and to record the travel history of any individual who comes for screening at such centres, apart from taking up steps to quarantine the individual in case of suspicion.
The Regulation also prohibits individual, institution and organisation from using any print or electronic media for spreading information regarding Covid-19 without prior permission of the Health Department so as to avoid rumours. The notification warned that any person, institution or organization found violating any clause of the regulations shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of Indian Penal Code 1860 (45 of 1860).
The regulations also said that no suit or legal proceedings shall lie against any person for anything done or intended to be done in good faith under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 (No. of 1897) unless proved otherwise, sources said. Anyone found indulging in such activity will be treated as punishable offence under the regulations. It also bars private laboratories to take or test samples for COVID-19 in Nagaland. All such samples will be collected as per guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and these will be sent to designated labs by the State Nodal Officer appointed by the State Health and Family Welfare Department.
The Nagaland Epidemic Disease (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 has also authorized the Deputy Commissioners of the districts to enforce lockdown of village, town, ward, colony or settlement form where cases of COVID-19 are reported to prevent the spread of the disease. The Regulations, which comes into force immediately and shall remain valid for a period of one year, also authorizes State authorities to forcefully admit and isolate COVID-19 suspected individuals, if they refuse admission or isolation, for a period of 14 days from the onset of symptoms or till reports of lab tests are received, or such period as may be necessary.
With regard to containment measures if cases of COVID-19 are reported, the regulations authorized Deputy Commissioner’s to seal the geographical area; bar entry and exit of the population from the containment area; closure of schools, offices and banning public gatherings; ban vehicular movements in the area; hospital isolation of all suspected cases; plus any other measures to control or prevent the epidemic, sources said. (UNI)