The Odisha government Saturday directed the press no to disclose the identities of the COVID-19 patients, their relatives, and even the doctors and nurses treating them.
"No media shall publish the names and the addresses of the persons infected by the coronavirus, their parents, relatives, the doctors treating them and the assisting medical staff, obtained through any source," said Subroto Bagchi, the state governments chief spokesperson on COVID-19.
The state government has issued the directive under Section-2 of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 and in conformity with Rule-17 of the guidelines issued by the Press Council of India, he said.
No media shall interview any patient affected with COVID-19, his/her parents/relatives/treating doctors, assisting medical staff, in any form, Bagchi said, quoting an official notification.
Any violation will be punishable, he added.
Meanwhile, a notification issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department excluded the press from the regulations under the near total lockdown imposed from March 22 to March 29 in five districts and eight major towns in the state.
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