SC asks Centre, States to consider lockdown

NEW DELHI, MAY 3 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 5/3/2021 12:53:13 PM IST

In the wake of the second wave of Covid-19, the Supreme Court has directed the central and state governments to consider imposing a lockdown.

“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 Supreme Court said.

“Having said that, we are cognizant of the socio-economic impact of a lockdown, specifically, on the marginalised communities. Thus, in case the measure of a lockdown is imposed, arrangements must be made beforehand to cater to the needs of these communities,” the apex court added.

The top court further asked the Centre and the states to inform it about the measures that they have planned to deal with the global disease in the near future.

Considering Covid-19 crisis, the court then directed that “no patient shall be denied hospitalisation or essential drugs in any state or Union Territory for lack of local residential or identity proof”.

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud issued the directive that the central government should formulate a national policy on admissions to hospitals within two weeks.

The judge said that the policy should also be followed by all state governments and that no patients till then will be denied admission or essential drugs in absence of local residential or identity proof.

“Different states and local authorities follow their own protocols. Differing standards for admission in different hospitals across the nation leads to chaos and uncertainty. The situation cannot brook any delay,” it said.

In its order released late Sunday night, the Supreme Court had also directed that the central government to create a buffer stock of oxygen in collaboration with state governments to ensure supply lines continue to function even in unforeseen circumstances and decentralise the location of the emergency stocks.

Aggressive lockdown needed: AIIMS chief

 AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria said a complete lockdown or an aggressive lockdown is needed in India just like last year. He also stressed that strict lockdown should be imposed in areas reporting positive rates over 10 per cent. 

Speaking to NDTV, Dr Guleria said that India had been caught off guard by the ferocity with which the virus was spreading, and that night curfews and weekend lockdowns imposed by various states have proved to be ineffectual. 

He also noted that no healthcare system in the world can manage this kind of load and added that aggressive containment or lockdown is the only key.

India records over 3L new Covid cases, 3417 fresh fatalities
PTI adds: The daily COVID-19 cases in India showed a slight dip with 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, taking the total tally of cases to 1,99,25,604, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.
The death toll increased to 2,18,959 with 3,417 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. 
While the country recorded 4,01,993 new cases on May 1, it had registered 3,92,488 fresh cases on May 2. 
Registering a steady increase, the active cases have increased to 34,13,642 comprising 17.13 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 81.77 per cent.    
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1, 62,93,003, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.10 per cent, the data stated.     
The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
“Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation. 

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