LAW ET JUSTICIA LAW REVIEW

VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1

CRITICAL EVALUATION OF THE EPIDEMIC DISEASES ACT IN LIGHT OF THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

AUTHORED BY:

Ms. DHANASHREE BALASAHEB KOLTE, 

Student,

Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai

CO-AUTHORED BY:


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ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has created havoc because of its catastrophic outcomes affecting the countries throughout the world. The magnitude and gravity of the situation have compelled us to take stringent measures to battle the same. If we speculate the Indian scenario we can make out that we are prone to the spread of disease due to reasons like the high density of population, inadequate health care measures, proximity of the houses, slum dwellings, ill-equipped legal measures, lack of hygiene and many other facts. Moreover, India spends only 1.28 percent of total GDP on public health and the allopathic doctor population ratio is 1:11082. The conditions may jeopardize the public health of its citizens. The best strategy to aid and assist the healthcare system is the application of legal rules and regulations. The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 enacted during the outbreak of Bubonic plague in Bombay has authorized the Central and state governments to take special measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Unfortunately, the Act is merely regulatory and has conferred no rights to the citizens. There are many limitations of this Act, for which we need to seek a legal redress through amendments. Legal frameworks and stringent actions are necessary for building up a wholesome statute to wage a war against global health disease like COVID-19. The article contends to portray both the significance and limitations of the Act. It critically analyses the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 urging the need for a comprehensive and detailed health law under a single integrated statute to deal with epidemics and pandemics. The research will provide a general view about the recent ordinance promulgated in order to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act. It will also point out the legal loopholes in the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.

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