Coronavirus: Karnataka invokes provisions of 1897 Act

Coronavirus: Karnataka becomes first state to invoke provisions of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 amid COVID-19 fear

People sport masks at Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna Bengaluru Railway Station in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak in Bengaluru on Wednesday. DH Photo/Pushkar V

Karnataka became the first state in the country to notify regulations to prevent the outbreak and spread of the novel coronavirus. ‘The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020’ — notified in the gazette under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, Karnataka — will be in effect for one year from March 11.

The move is being seen as the state government’s response to Wednesday’s Kalaburagi case, as it gives powers to the state to act if a patient or his family refuses to cooperate in being quarantined or tested.

Under these regulations, all government and private hospitals should have flu corners for screening suspected cases of Covid-19. All hospitals are required to record the travel history in addition to the history of coming in contact with a suspected or a confirmed case.

If a person is asymptomatic but has a history in the last 14 days, he/she has to be kept in home quarantine for 28 days from the day of exposure.

If the person is symptomatic, he/she has to be isolated in a hospital and tested for COVID-19.

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Information of all such cases shall be given to the district health office. Any person or organisation indulging in spreading misinformation regarding Covid-19 will be punishable under these regulations. No private lab is authorised to take or test samples.

All samples shall be collected as per the Union government’s guidelines and shall be sent to designated laboratories. Any person with a travel history in the past 14 days to a virus-affected country must report to the nearest government hospital or call 104 so that the health department takes the required measures.

If a suspected case refuses admission or isolation, authorised officers shall have powers to forcefully admit and isolate each case for 14 days from the onset of symptoms or till the reports of lab tests are received.

COVID-19 regulations

*District Disaster Management Committee headed by deputy commissioner is authorised to prepare a plan regarding containment measures for COVID-19 in their respective districts

*Anyone found violating any provisions of these regulations shall have committed an offence punishable under Section 188 of IPC

*No suit or legal proceedings can be levied against any person for anything done under these regulations unless proved otherwise

*Staff of all govt departments shall be at the disposal of the district administration for containment measures

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