Consider lockdown to curb 2nd Covid wave: Supreme Court to states, Centre
Guwahati: The Supreme Court on Sunday issued a slew of directions to the Central and State governments on the COVID-19 situation and directed to consider imposing a ban on mass gatherings and super spreader events.
“We would seriously urge the Central and State governments to consider imposing a ban on mass gatherings and super spreader events. They may also consider imposing a lockdown to curb the virus in the second wave in the interest of public welfare,” the SC said.
A bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageswar Rao and S ravindra Bhat, taking into account the continuing surge of infections in the second wave of the pandemic, directed to put on the record the efforts taken to curb the spread of virus and the measures that they are planning to take in future.
Moreover, on the Covid crisis, the SC said that no patient shall be denied hospitalization or essential drugs in any state or Union Territory for lack of local residential or identity proof.
The top court in its order, released late Sunday night, directed that the Central government, in collaboration with State governments, create a buffer stock of oxygen to ensure supply lines continue to function even in unforeseen circumstances and decentralise the location of the emergency stocks.
It also directed that Central government and State governments shall notify all Chief Secretaries/Directors General of Police/Commissioners of Police that any clampdown on information on social media or harassment caused to individuals seeking/delivering help on any platform will attract a coercive exercise of jurisdiction by this Court.
It also took judicial notice of the fact that several critical drugs, used to treat COVID-19, such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, are being sold at significantly inflated prices or in fake form, and said that this is a “condemnable attempt to exploit people’s misery and profit from their helplessness.”
It said that in order to clamp down on black marketing of COVID-19 drugs, the Central government can consider constituting a special team to identify and prosecute those who: (a) sell medical grade oxygen/Covid-19 medicines at exorbitant prices, and (b) sell fake substances and recover the concerned substances.