In view of the current pandemic situation in the country, the Supreme Court on Sunday directed the Centre and state governments to put on record the efforts taken to curb the spread of the virus and the measures that they plan on taking in the near future. The top court said the Centre should also consider using health care workforce available with the armed forces and paramilitary forces for the purpose of vaccination.
Consider imposing lockdown: Top court to Centre, States
"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," Supreme Court said.
"Having said that, we are cognizant of socio-economic impact of a lockdown, specifically, on the marginalized communities. Thus, in case the measure of a lockdown is imposed, arrangements must be made beforehand to cater to the needs of these communities," SC said in its order.
The Supreme Court has directed Centre shall revisit its initiatives and protocols, including on availability of oxygen, availability and pricing of vaccines, availability of essential drugs at affordable prices and respond on all other issues highlighted in this order before next date of hearing.
Supreme Court orders that Centre and States shall notify all Chief Secretaries/DGP/CP that any clampdown on info on social media or harassment caused to individuals seeking/delivering help on any platform will attract a coercive exercise of jurisdiction by this Court.
Formulate policy on admissions to hospitals: SC to Centre
The top court ordered that the Centre shall, within two weeks, formulate a national policy on admissions to hospitals which shall be followed by all State Governments.
SC on oxygen availability to Centre
The Supreme Court also ordered that the Central Govt shall, in collaboration with States, prepare a buffer stock of oxygen for emergency purposes & decentralize the location of the emergency stocks.
"Emergency stocks shall be created within next 4 days and is to be replenished on a day to day basis, in addition to existing allocation of oxygen supply to States," SC said in its order passed on suo moto case initiated by it on issues related to oxygen supply etc in relation to COVID.
Supreme Court asked the Centre shall ensure that the deficit in the supply of oxygen to Delhi is rectified within two days, that is, on or before the midnight of 3 May 2021.