The Supreme Court (SC) has directed both the central and the state governments to consider imposing lockdowns and banning mass gatherings and super spreader events to arrest the growth in COVID-19 cases. The top court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud further directed the Centre and the states to explain the efforts that'll be made to curb the spread of the virus and measures in near future.
The apex court said, "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."
In case a lockdown is imposed, the Centre and states need to make all the arrangements beforehand to cater to people's needs due to the socio-economic impact of a lockdown, the top court noted.
Besides this, the bench directed central government to formulate a national policy on admission into hospitals, within a fortnight, which all the states shall follow. The court suggested the Centre exercise its statutory powers under the Disaster Management Act.
The bench added till this policy is formulated, no patient should be denied hospitalisation or essential drugs in case they don't have an identity or residential proof. The court mentioned, "Left to their own devices, citizens have had to suffer immeasurable hardship. 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."
Meanwhile, states like Haryana and Odisha have imposed a lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. Haryana has imposed a week-long lockdown from May 3 till May 10, whereas Odisha will be under strict lockdown from May 5 to May 19.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal