Maha: Police to take action if quarantine violated

COVID-19: Police in Maharashtra to take action against those violating quarantine

Police personnel wearing facemasks amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus sit at the entrance of a hospital with a special ward for the virus in Mumbai on March 17, 2020. Credit: AFP Photo

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Thursday that police have been asked to take action against those who violate the mandatory quarantine amid the coronavirus outbreak in the state.

Instances of persons, many of them with recent travel-history to a foreign country, ignoring the advice of home isolation have come to light in the last few days.

"There have been complaints of people who are under mandatory quarantine period violating the norms and going out in public. I have asked the police to initiate action against them under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897," the minister said.

"There have been instances of people running away from the quarantine facility or not staying at home even after being asked by the health department officials," he said.

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"The people returning from foreign tours are put under mandatory quarantine as a precaution. But there have been reports of people flouting quarantine which poses a serious threat to the health of other people," he added.

Earlier, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Health Minister Rajesh Tope had stated that the government does not wish to initiate punitive action against anyone, but travelers returning from abroad should abide by quarantine norms on their own.

Most of the confirmed COVID-19 patients in Maharashtra have returned from a foreign country.

Those who have traveled abroad recently should stay in home isolation for at least 14 days even if they do not have any symptoms of the disease, the government has said.

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