NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India told the central government and state governments to consider implementing a lockdown to curb the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and said they may consider imposing lockdown in the public interest.
After hearing from officials about measures being taken by the governments to combat the pandemic’s second wave, the country’s highest court issued an order in this regard.
“We direct the Central Government and State Governments to put on record the efforts made to curb the spread of the virus and the measures that they intend to take in the near future,” the Supreme Court said, citing the continuing surge of infections in the second wave of the pandemic.
“We realize the socioeconomic consequences of a lockdown, especially for marginalised populations. In the event that a lockdown is enforced, plans must be made ahead of time to meet the needs of these groups “According to the Supreme Court’s order.
“Simultaneously, we highly urge the federal and state governments to consider prohibiting mass demonstrations and super spreader activities. In the interest of public safety, they might even recommend implementing a lockdown to contain the virus during the second wave,” the order continued.
The Supreme Court has ordered the Centre to review its initiatives and guidelines, including those related to oxygen supply, vaccine availability and pricing, and the availability of essential medicines at reasonable rates, as well as respond to all other concerns raised in this order before the next hearing date.
Arrangements must also be made to cover vulnerable parts during a lockdown, according to India’s Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court further ordered that the Centre and States notify all Chief Secretaries/DGPs/CPs that any restrictions on information on social media or harassment of people seeking or providing assistance on any platform will result in a coercive exercise of jurisdiction by this Court.
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