The daily hike in COVID-19 cases in Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Assam looked ‘grim’ and they should ‘take time to introspect’ and ‘prepare for December’, the Supreme Court observed on Monday
“Situation of COVID cases is worsening and likely to do so in December,” a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan noted.
“We are of the view that the immediate steps are required to be taken by all the States as well as by the Union of India”, the court stated.
The Bench directed the States to file status reports in two days on their preparedness and steps taken. It listed the case for urgent hearing and orders on November 27.
Coronavirus | Supreme Court says situation has worsened, asks Centre and States to file status reports
“Things have worsened in the last two weeks, in November… Our question is what is your present situation? What more steps are you taking? That is what we are going to look into,” Justice Bhushan addressed Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, for Delhi.
Gujarat pulled up
The court hauled up the Gujarat government for unbridled celebrations, weddings and public gatherings despite an exponential rise in cases.
“Gujarat is worst after Delhi and Maharashtra. What is your policy? What is happening? Weddings, parties, celebrations by political parties are happening… What is all this,” Justice M.R. Shah asked the Gujarat side.
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Justice R. Subhash Reddy noted that “there is a huge spike in cases”. He observed orally, “This is the time to introspect and prepare for December”.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta expressed his anguish at the situation as a human being. He said it was painful for him to witness the court passing orders on the handling of the COVID-19 dead. He said his comments were made in the name of humanity.
The hearing is based on the suo motu cognisance taken by the court on the treatment meted out to COVID-19 patients and the bodies of those who lost the battle with the virus. The court , in June, referred to several media reports on the lack of infrastructure, patients and their families running from pillar to post to get themselves admitted and, ultimately, videos of COVID-19 dead being thrown into pits.
Mr. Mehta said the Union Home Minister was monitoring the situation.
Mr. Jain said there had been an “upsurge” in the request for ICU beds for patients in private hospitals in Delhi. The government had passed notifications to reserve 80% ICU beds for COVID-19 cases in 115 private hospitals in Delhi. This was done keeping in mind the flood of patients from neighbouring States.
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