Coronavirus infected persons who conceal their illness could face imprisonment

Monday, 16 March 2020

Those who are infected with the Coronavirus but conceal their infection could face a six-month imprisonment said DIG Ajith Rohana addressing a special media briefing convened yesterday.

He added that steps will be take enabling arrest of such individuals without a warrant.

Under chapter xiv of the penal code pertaining to offenses affecting the public health, safety, convenience, decency and morals 262. Negligent act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life, 263. Malicious act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life and 264. Disobedience to a quarantine rule, any police officer has the authority to arrest any person violating the above rules without a warrant, he added.

Steps have been taken to ban all public gatherings and private gatherings where people congregate. The acting IGP has, therefore, instructed all police stations to notify the people regarding this ban through mobile public address systems.

With the World Health Organization declaring the Coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic and in order to prevent its spread within Sri Lanka, any police officer has the authority to arrest anyone who fails to adhere with quarantine procedures, even without a warrant under the provisions of the 1897 Quarantine and Prevention of Disease Ordinance No. 03, the Police Media Division said in a statement issued yesterday.

In the event an arrest is made under the above provisions, if the relevant OIC of a police station feels that by granting bail to the arrested person it could affect public peace, then the OIC has the authority to produce the person before court and the Magistrate has the authority to imprison the person under the provisions of the law.

Further, under paragraph 107 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1979 every police officer should extend his fullest to prevent a crime and must extend his fullest effort to prevent it. `

Therefore, if anyone violates the quarantine and prevention of disease ordinance, the police warns that strict action would be taken against such persons.