Prison for those breaking isolation rules

in News · 11-03-2020 17:19:00 · 0 Comments

People who do not comply with the social isolation decreed by health authorities due to the Covid-19 disease can be punished with a prison sentence of up to five years, according to the Penal Code.

The National Plan for Preparing and Responding to the disease by the new coronavirus provides that health authorities can order “coercive isolation” in “extreme situations”.

Article 283 of the Penal Code on the spread of disease, alteration of analysis or prescription prescribes that whoever propagates the contagious disease and if the danger is created by negligence is punished with imprisonment for up to five years.

The same article indicates that if the conduct is practiced for negligence there will be a punishment with imprisonment up to three years or with a fine.

These penalties are also applied to doctors and nurses and in the case of pharmacists who supply medicinal substances that do not comply with the prescription and create a danger to life or a serious danger to the physical integrity of others, it is punishable by imprisonment of between one and eight years.

Quarantine or social isolation is not directly provided for in the law, unlike other countries, such as Italy.

“Usually, isolation is voluntary and accepted on medical advice. In extreme situations, of the patient's refusal [regardless of laboratory confirmation], it may be necessary to determine his coercive isolation ”, for which it is necessary to resort to the exercise of the power of the health authority, says the National Plan for Preparing and Responding to the disease by new coronavirus (Covid-19).

Situations of this nature that occur outside the context of declaring a state of emergency must be provided for and typified, the document from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) states.

The plan defining the national response strategy to Covid-19 specifies that isolation should be determined from suspicion to case information or until clinical recovery in confirmed cases, being a measure to prevent the establishment of transmission chains and delay and reduce widespread community transmission.

"The quarantine or isolation of contacts refers to the separation or restriction of movements and social interaction of people who may be infected because they were in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19, but who remain asymptomatic," according to the plan.

In Portugal, people who may have been in contact with the new coronavirus are in voluntary prophylactic social isolation, which requires staying at home with visiting restrictions, as are the cases of several people in Felgueiras (district of Porto) and students two schools in Amadora (Lisbon).

The Mayor of Felgueiras communicated to the health authorities "indications" that there are people in Idães who will not be respecting the quarantine situation in which they find themselves, in the context of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The National Plan for Preparing and Responding to the disease by the new coronavirus states that the duration of isolation should, according to current knowledge, be 14 days since the last contact with the confirmed case of Covid-19, and may vary as more is learnt about the incubation period and the contagious period of the virus.

According to the document, isolation of patients (regardless of laboratory confirmation) should be done at home or hospital.

In the case of isolation of household members, its duration can be extended by another incubation period if another member of the household becomes a confirmed case of Covid-19.

"Usually, what is recommended for contacts of probable or confirmed cases of Covid-19 is confinement in the home and the restriction of social contacts during the period of 14 days after the occurrence of the exhibition", the document also made public on Monday -market.

In Portugal, DGS today updated the number of infected people from 41 to 59, the biggest increase in one day (18).


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