A day after resident doctors of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) sought the government’s intervention after they were allegedly asked by their landlords to vacate their homes, the Delhi government on Wednesday (March 25) has warned strict action against the same.
On Tuesday, medicos from India’s premier hospital sought the government’s intervention after they faced eviction by their house-owners, who fear the medical professionals at the forefront of the fight against the novel coronavirus, could be infected and thus could infect the community they live in.
In an order issued by the Delhi government, the police have been asked to take strict penal action against landlords/house-owners who are forcing from doctors/paramedical staff/healthcare personnel in the national capital to vacate their rented residences in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak.
District Administrations and Police are directed to take strict action against such landlords/house owners who are forcing doctors/paramedical staff/ health care personnel to vacate their rented residences: Govt of Delhi #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/UjROkZACuc
— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2020
This came after Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of AIIMS wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting appropriate action against the landlords.
“Such behaviour amounts to obstructing public servant in discharging their duties. And whereas the government of NCT of Delhi has issued the Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 for prevention and containment of COVID-19,” read an order signed by Padmini Singla, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare).
“Now, therefore, in the exercise of the aforesaid powers, all the District Magistrates/Zonal Deputy Commissioners of Municipal Corporations/District Deputy Commissioner of Police are directed to take strict penal action against such landlords/house-owners under the relevant provisions of law and submit an Action Taken Report on a daily basis to the office of Addl. Chief Secret, (Home), Govt. of NCT of Delhi,” it said.
In a letter to Shah, they said many staffers were “stranded on roads” with all their luggage, and urged him to immediately release an order prohibiting landlords from evicting the health care professionals working tirelessly against the virus from their rented houses.
Later, Shah spoke to the Delhi police chief and asked him to take immediate action to ensure the security of doctors facing harassment.
Meanwhile, taking note of the situation, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said he was “deeply anguished” by the reports of medical staff being “ostracised”.
I’m DEEPLY ANGUISHED to see reports pouring in from Delhi, Noida,Warangal,Chennai etc that DOCTORS & PARAMEDICS are being ostracised in residential complexes & societies. Landlords are threatening to evict them fearing #COVID2019 infection. Pls don’t panic !#CoronavirusLockdown
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) March 24, 2020
He reminded the landlords that the whole country had applauded the selfless services of healthcare professionals in these critical times by beating utensils, ringing bells and blowing conch shells from self-quarantine.
The doctors association also drew Shah’s attention to the difficulty faced by healthcare professionals in reaching their workplace amidst a complete lockdown of public transport in most states.
“We request you to arrange proper transport for the healthcare providers across the country and direct the police and involved security administration to allow them to travel hassle-free upon producing their Identity Cards,” it said. The letter was signed by Adarsh Pratap Singh, president of the association, and Srinivas Rajkumar T, its general secretary.
(With inputs from agencies)