Amid the huge rise in COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, the Supreme Court has urged the Centre and the states “to consider imposing a lockdown to break the chain in the interest of public welfare”. It also asked the Centre to reconsider its initiatives and protocols, including the availability of oxygen and pricing of vaccines, along with the availability of essential drugs at affordable prices.
A three-member supreme court bench, comprising of Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice L Nageswara Rao, and Justice Ravindra Bhat stated, “We are cognisant of the 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.”
Moreover, the apex court asked the Central Government to formulate a national policy on admissions to hospitals within two weeks following the wake of the second wave of COVID-19. SC also asserted that no patient shall be denied hospitalization or essential drugs in any state for lack of local residential proof.
The Supreme Court’s observation comes while India continues to struggle through the second wave of coronavirus. The country has been recording over 3 lakh cases for the past few weeks and now, it’s been 5-6 days since the tally is above the 3.5 lakh mark. In the last 24 hours, India reported over 3.68 fresh COVID-19 cases. The 3,68,147 new infections have taken the active COVID case tally to 34,13,642 while 3,417 people have died in the last 24-hours due to coronavirus, taking the total death toll in India from the pandemic to 2,18,959.