Amidst COVID-19 outbreak, landlords ask doctors, nurses to vacate houses; govt warns owners

Last Updated 25 March 2020, 07:15 IST

Amidst doctors and nurses in Delhi facing eviction threats from landlords due to fear of COVID-19, the Delhi Government has warned house-owners of penal action if they resort to targeting healthcare professionals.

The order came following the government receiving a "lot of complaints" from doctors, paramedical staff and other healthcare personnel from all over NCT of Delhi, especially near AIIMS, that their landlords were forcing them to vacate their rented residences.

The order said such behaviour not only strikes at the root of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic but also tantamounts to obstruction of duty and essential service.

Invoking the Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 for prevention and containment of COVID-19, the order said all District Magistrates, Zonal Deputy Commissioners of Municipal Corporations, District Deputy Commissioners of Police are directed to take strict penal action against such landlords under the relevant provisions of law and submit an Action Taken Report on a daily basis to the office of Additional Chief Secretary (Home).

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On Tuesday, the AIIMS Resident Doctor's Association shot off a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah saying healthcare professionals involved in the Covid-19 care are being asked to vacate their rented accommodations and some have been forcefully evicted due to fear that they make them more susceptible to the disease.

"Many doctors are now stranded on roads with all their luggage, nowhere to go, across the country. We condemn such attitude," the letter by RDA President Dr Adarsh Pratap Singh and General Secretary Dr Srinivas Rajkumar T said.

They also raised the issue of transport to hospitals, saying the complete lockdown of public transport in most states has resulted in trouble for healthcare professionals in reaching hospitals.

Last week, there were instances of doctors and nurses complaining about house-owners asking them to vacate the house fearing that those treating Covid-19 patients or working in hospitals could spread the disease.

While Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to house-owners not to evict healthcare professionals, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also directed Delhi Police to ensure that none faced trouble on this count.

(Published 25 March 2020, 06:20 IST)

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