Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill passed in Odisha Assembly amid Opposition protest

Bhubaneswar:  The Odisha Assembly on Wednesday passed the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 with a majority vote amid stiff protest from the Opposition.  The Bill replaced the ordinance that was promulgated by the Governor earlier this month.

The Ordinances promulgated on April 8 and August 31, 2020 had amended the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to introduce the penal provisions of imprisonment up to two years and Rs 1 lakh or the both for violation of the law.

As per the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020, anybody who disobeys any regulation or order made under the principal Act is liable for imprisonment up to two years or fine of Rs 1 lakh or with both.

“Every offence under this Bill shall be cognisable and bailable,” it said.

“Covid-19 pandemic has created a huge public health crisis across the world. Government of Odisha has initiated various measures to contain the epidemic and has framed Odisha Covid-19 Regulations, 2020, exercising the power conferred under sections 2 and 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897,” said Health Minister Naba Kishore Das in the House.

The State government has made wearing of mask mandatory  to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

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