Amid rising COVID-19 numbers in the country, the Supreme Court on Monday asked some state governments to file a status report on the current situation of the pandemic in their respective states. Basis the increasing numbers, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Assam have been asked to file affidavits on the steps taken so far.
Justice Ashok Bhushan, who headed the three-judge bench, which also comprised of R Subash Reddy and MP Shah, said, “It is time to introspect where we are lacking. Keep in mind situation is likely to grow grim in the coming months. The situation is likely to grow grim in the coming months. We are of the opinion that all states must be prepared for the coming months. In the last two weeks in November, deaths have increased in Delhi. Similar is the situation in other states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Assam among other states. We need to know the situation as on date.”
The bench was hearing a suo moto petition on the management of medical care given to patients and the manner of treating bodies of people who had succumbed to COVID-19. In June and July of this year, the Apex Court had ordered all states to constitute expert committees and install CCTVs in COVID wards.
“Worse things will happen in December if states aren’t well prepared,” is how the SC warned the states in its hearing.
The top court also questioned the Gujarat government for its lax in allowing political celebrations and weddings during such a critical phase of rising numbers. The state government has now decided to impose night curfew in cities such as Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara and reopening of schools and colleges has also been put on hold.
The Delhi government subsequently informed the court about the steps taken to control the situation in the capital.
The next date for hearing is November 27, 2020 and the responses have to be filed by then.
India is currently the world’s second-worst-hit country by the pandemic, with over 91.39 lakh cases and over 1.33 lakh deaths.