Advances in Epidemic Control Laws & COVID-19 Pandemic in India: A Medico-Legal Analysis
Keywords:Epidemic Laws, Health Regulations, WHO Legal Guidelines, Epidemic Ordinance, COVID-19 Pandemic
This paper deals with the efficacy of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Epidemic Diseases Amendment
Act, 1937 in the context of Covid-19 pandemic. The colonial mould of epidemic control laws reviewed
the World Health Organization (WHO) legal guidelines for disease preparedness and response. The public
health strategies of epidemic-pandemic control need juristic innovation, and blanket application of British
enactment fall short of the expectation of the right based approach health and equity. The enforcement of
the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 during dengue, swine flu, influenza and COVID-19 criticized by the Indian
medico-legal community in India. The emerging discourse can be tailor-made to suit the magnitude of the
Covid-19 and pandemics needs a careful analysis. Though the WHO Revision of the International Health
Regulations, 2005 offers new paradigm the Indian government resort to the Epidemic Diseases Amendment
Ordinance, 2020 needs a critical appraisal in COVID-19 pandemic in India.
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