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J'khand bars media from identifying COVID-19 patients, treating doctors

Press Trust of India  |  Ranchi 

The Jharkhand government on Monday barred the media from publishing personal details of coronavirus-affected persons, and doctors and other medical staff treating them.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren expressed concern over people coming out of their homes violating the lockdown order, and urged them to remain indoors. "It is not a holiday."

The health department in a notification said, "No media shall publish the name and address of the person infected/affected with COVID-19, his/her parents, relatives, the doctor treating the patient and the assisting medical staff, obtained through any source, in any Print/Electronic/WEB/Social Media.

"The media shall not interview any patient affected with COVID-19, his/her parents, relatives, the doctor treating the patient and the assisting medical staff."

The information relating to these persons, including their residential address is to be kept confidential, the notification said, adding that not following the directive would be a punishable offence.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Soren appealed to the people to take the lockdown seriously and remain at home.

"Lockdown has been announced in Jharkhand. Markets remained closed on the first day, but the movement of people has not stopped," Soren said and asked deputy commissioners of all the districts to tell the people not to move outside unnecessarily.

"All the DCs should inform people that it (lockdown) is not a holiday. We have to protect them from the disease," he said during a video conferencing with the DCs.

The lockdown along with Prohibitory Orders under Section 144 CrPC was announced on Sunday in the entire state.

Officials said no positive case of coronavirus has been reported in the state so far.

Only those in essential services should venture outside, the chief minister said, asking officials to ensure no gathering of devotees at religious places.

The chief minister also directed the officials to arrange home delivery of essential commodities like ration, medicine and milk to people and deploy adequate security near ration shops.

He also asked them to take immediate legal action against fake on social media.

Officials should facilitate people of the state, stranded on the borders, reach their homes, he said.

Soren also directed them to set up 200-bed isolation ward in Ranchi Sadar Hospital with doctors and medical staff.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 23:44 IST