Fresh Covid spike worries India’s Supreme Court as states struggle


India is again seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases and many states are putting in place fresh restrictions the contain the pandemic.

On Monday, India reported 44,059 new coronavirus infections in a span of 24 hours, taking the country’s total Covid-19 caseload beyond 9.1 million.

India’s Supreme Court on Monday said the Covid-19 situation in national capital Delhi had worsened in the last two weeks and sought a status report from the Arvind Kejriwal government to examine the bottlenecks in connection with the pandemic management.

The top court also pulled up the Gujarat, Maharashtra and Assam state governments over the worsening coronavirus situation and asked them to file status reports.

The top court noted that in November there has been a spike in Covid-19 cases across the country.

The bench asked all states to file status reports in two days detailing steps taken, and also steps in the pipeline and the nature of assistance required from the Centre to build a robust response to address the pandemic.

Additional solicitor-general Sanjay Jain, representing the Delhi government, submitted before the top court that an expert committee has been constituted and the government had informed the court about it in July.

Solicitor-general Tushar Mehta submitted that the federal governmen has taken steps to improve the situation in Delhi.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said: “The question is what is the present scenario? What efforts are you taking?”

Jain replied everything is in place and the government has allocated 380 slots for cremation only for Covid-19 patients.

Justice Bhushan replied things have worsened in the last two weeks in the capital and sought for a status report on Covid-19 management in the capital.

Jain, citing the new government notification, said that 115 private hospitals have reserved 80 percent beds for the Covid patients.

The bench, also including Justices RS Reddy and MR Shah, asked the Gujarat government to file a status report on the current situation of the pandemic in the state.

The bench also queried the Maharashtra government on the status report and asked the counsel representing the government to inform it about the steps taken and assistance required.

The top court asked the federal government to file an affidavit regarding the status of Covid cases in the country and told the state governments should gear up to address the issues.

The top court has asked the state governments to file affidavits by Thursday and listed the matter for further hearing on Friday.

The top court made these observations during the hearing of a matter where it had taken cognizance regarding the proper treatment of the Covid-19 patients and dignified handling of the bodies in the hospitals


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