Calls for immediate curbs on all gatherings amid public health crisis
The Allahabad High Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to consider the viability of a complete lock-down for at least two or three weeks in districts where COVID-19 infection has increased alarmingly.
The court also stated that “We must give priority to public health over elections” and hoped that the government would streamline every department of public health and public care in the light of directions issued by it to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Night curfew or corona curfew imposed on many districts on instructions from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is a small step and could only curb night parties and large religious congregation in the coming month of Ramazan and Navratri, the court said.
“We understand that complete lock-down for weeks together may not be feasible but looking to the current surge of pandemic, we direct the government to look into the viability of complete lock-down in those districts were spread has increased alarmingly, for at least two weeks or three weeks and at least immediately all public gatherings must be restricted to 50 persons,” the court said.
A Division Bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar said the court had been informed that COVID hospitals were “over-flooded” with patients and there was a shortage of both manpower and facilities in the hospitals.
“The situation is so alarming that if it is not handled carefully and cautiously we may lead to stage of complete collapse of public health system,” the judges said.
“What we need to ensure is that there is no unnecessary public movement even during the day,” the court observed. “We need to restrict public movement at least for a week or 10 days to break the chain. If life survives one would regain wealth and improve his economy. After all every development is for people and if there are no men there will be no use of any development activity,” the court said.
The judges also took note of complaints that RT-PCR tests are not updated in time, resulting in people remaining unaware of their COVID-19 infection status leading to fare chances of further spread of infection. The court also flagged that samples were being delayed for more than 12 hours.
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