The Jammu and Kashmir government appointed Inspector Generals of Police (IGPs) and district superintendents of police as the nodal officers for the safety of healthcare professionals, medical staff, and frontline workers involved in COVID 19 pandemic control. As per the order issued by Home Department, it reads, "It is ordered that the IGPs of Jammu and Kashmir and the district superintendents of Police shall be the Nodal Officers, within their respective jurisdictions, for ensuring adequate protection to the healthcare professionals, medical staff and frontline workers by augmenting their safety and security cover."
The direction comes two days after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked States and Union Territories (UTs) to provide security to healthcare professionals after noting reports of incidents of violence against them from diverse parts of the country.
Following the MHA order, the UT Home Department has now directed the Nodal Officers to take immediate and severe action in case of any incident of violence against them, including and not limited to the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020. Earlier, the MHA had noted in its order the services rendered by the medical fraternity, while even after risking lives, has enabled the country to resist the spread COVID-19 virus.
It had asked the States and UTs to appoint Nodal Officers who would be available 24/7 to redress any safety issue on the functioning of medical professionals amid the Covid-19 scare. The Home Ministry had said heinous instances of unruly behaviour by people have also been reported in where the family and relatives of medical professionals, suspected to have died due to COVID-19 were prevented from performing the last rites of the deceased. “In such cases, adequate security should be provided and strict action should be taken against such offenders who hinder the performance of last rites of medical professionals or frontline healthcare workers, who, unfortunately, succumb to the infection from COVID-19 while discharging their services,” the MHA had stated in a communication to all chief secretaries on April 22.