Haryana govt declares COVID-19 an epidemic

All hospitals in the state have been directed to set up ‘flu corners’ for screening of suspected coronavirus cases.

By   |  Published: 12th Mar 2020  12:33 pmUpdated: 12th Mar 2020  2:53 pm
Visitors wear protective masks in wake of the deadly novel coronavirus, at General Hospital, Ernakulam, in Kochi.

Chandigarh: The Haryana government on Thursday declared the contagious coronavirus infection an epidemic.

According to the state Health Department, 44 samples of suspected cases were sent for tests till Wednesday.

Out of these, 38 were found negative for coronavirus while reports of six people — four from Gurgaon and two from Panchkula — were awaited.

“COVID-19 declared epidemic in Haryana,” Health minister Anil Vij said in a tweet.

Over 270 isolation wards with 1,206 beds have been set up in government and private hospitals to deal with any contingency. Rohtak’s premier PGIMS Hospital has been designated as the Tertiary Care Centre for treatment of critical patients.

The state government has issued various regulations under The Haryana Epidemic Disease, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, to contain the spread of the deadly virus, according to a notification issued on Wednesday.

These regulations come into force with immediate effect and will remain valid for a period of one year.

All hospitals in the state have been directed to set up ‘flu corners’ for screening of suspected coronavirus cases.

According to the regulation, no person/institution shall use print or electronic media to spread mis-information on COVID-19 without prior permission of the Department of Health & Family Welfare.

If a person is found indulging in any such activity, they will be punished, it said.  Among other guidelines, no private laboratories have been authorised to take or test coronavirus samples in the state.

The government has also asked people with a travel history to coronavirus-affected countries to report to nearest government hospital.

If a coronavirus case is reported from a defined geographic area such as village, town, ward, colony, settlement, the district administration of the district concerned shall have the right to implement containment measures, including sealing of the area, barring entry and exit of population from the containment area, closure of schools, offices and banning public gatherings, besides other measures.

No suit or legal proceedings shall lie against any person for anything done or intended to be done in good faith under the Epidemic Disease Act unless proved otherwise, according to the notification.