Corona Virus: Epidemic Disease Act Invoked in India

On March 11, 2020, the Group of Ministers formed by the Union Government to fight against Covid-19 in India invoked the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897.

Highlights

The GoI has invoked Section 2 of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. The act has been invoked as the number of infected persons in the country reached 73. The GoI has also advised international travel ban. Also, existing visas to India has been suspended till April 15, 2020. However, representatives from international organizations, diplomats and other project visits have been exempted.

Key Features of the act

The persons disobeying regulations made under the act are punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. The State Government is empowered to make changes to ordinary laws if there is necessity of insufficiency of the existing laws to deal the situation. For instance, travel inspection, segregation in hospital, etc. Similar powers are vested with Central Government as well.

The act uses the word “epidemic” to address the disease and not Pandemic as declared by WHO.

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