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NEW DELHI — The Centre on Wednesday asked all States and Union territories to provide adequate security to doctors and frontline health workers who are facing attacks from unruly people.

In a letter to chief secretaries of all States and Union territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also flagged a few heinous instances of unruly behaviour by people where the families and relatives of medical professionals, suspected to have died due to COVID-19 infection, were prevented from performing the last rites of the deceased.

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“In such cases, adequate security should be provided; and stringent action should be taken against such offenders who obstruct the performance of last rites of medical professionals or frontline healthcare workers, who, unfortunately, succumb to the infection from COVID-19 while discharging their services, or otherwise,” the letter said.

Bhalla said the State governments and Union territory administrations are also requested to appoint nodal officers at State or Union territory level and at district level, who would be available 24×7 to redress any safety issue on the functioning of medical professionals.

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The States and Union territories should also take immediate and strict action in case any incident of violence takes place, he said.

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