The central government assured the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it will make non-payment of salaries of doctors and other health workers a crime under the National Disaster Management Act (NDMA), even as the court directed it to issue a directive within 24 hours to all states and Union Territories to ensure the salaries are paid.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta told a bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan that the government would invoke its powers under Section 10 of the Act for the purpose.
The government also undertook to modify its May 15 order and do away with 14-day quarantine for the high-risk category of health workers.
Instead, now all healthcare professionals in charge of dealing with Covid-19 patients will be required to undergo a seven-day quarantine. They will be reassessed after a week and a decision was taken on whether they can return to work. The government also assured the court that it will issue a fresh order for providing suitable accommodation to doctors and healthcare workers.