Haryana has declared COVID-19 an epidemic and State Health Minister Anil Vij tweeted the announcement from his official handle to this effect on Thursday.
According to the Health Department notification dated March 11, the Haryana Governor has issued certain regulations to contain the spread of disease in the State in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 2,3 and 4 of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. The regulations came into force immediately and will remain valid for a period of one year.
The notification says all persons with a history of travel in last 14 days to a country or area from where COVID-19 has been reported must report to the nearest government hospital or call at toll free helpline number 108 so that necessary measures could be initiated. All such persons without any symptoms have been advised to isolate themselves at home and cover their mouth and nose with a mask and take precautions to avoid contact with any person for 14 days. The notification also empowers the authorised officers to forcefully admit any suspected case of COVID-19 if they refuse admission or isolation. It also allows the district administration to take steps for containment of the disease if a case is reported from a defined geographical area.
It prevents dissemination of information through print or electronic media regarding COVID-19 without prior permission of the Health Department, Haryana. Also, all samples are to be collected as per the guidelines of the Government of India and sent to designated labs. No private labs are authorised to take or test samples for COVID-19 in Haryana, says the notification. Any person, institution or organisation found violating any provision of the regulations is punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
According to Haryana Health Department website, 1,578 persons in the State are under observation, out of which 1,555 persons with travel history to affected countries are asymptomatic. Further, 23 passengers with travel history from affected countries were admitted to hospitals in various districts such as Ambala, Faridabad, Gurugram, Hisar, Kaithal, Karnal, Panchkula, Rohtak and Sirsa out of which 20 have been discharged as their result is negative, however they are still under surveillance at home in keeping with protocol. Till date, 44 samples have been sent, out of which 38 were found negative and results of six are awaited.