AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on today on 6th April 2021, suggested the state government to take “urgent and serious steps” to control the situation and impose lockdown for 3-4 days to control the rising Covid cases in city.
The bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice B D Karia summoned the top law officers of the government – advocate general Kamal Trivedi and government pleader Manisha Shah – and told them to convey the court’s concerns to the decision makers to take immediate steps.
After a brief discussion, the chief justice told the law officers, “You may please convey our concerns to the decision makers that urgent and serious steps need to be taken to check this (Covid-19 spread) otherwise things will go out of hand.”
He said that the situation is almost reaching a point where lockdown seems to be only available option to control the situation. “May be 3-4 days of lockdown or curfew and then open it again after it. It will help. Like you did in March last year that there were lockdowns over the weekends. You may continue this way,” the chief justice suggested.
Justice Karia said that people are working in companies and they may come in contact with each other. The CJ added to this by giving an example of the high court that the HC campus is facing a similar problem, where average 8-10 employees have tested Covid-19 positive.
The law officers assured the court that they would take up the issue with the highest level to address the situation.
Earlier during the discussion, The advocate general told the court that the situation was reviewed two days ago and one of the suggestions was to impose lock down again. However, there were various views in this regard. Lockdown comes with miseries for the poor people. “The government is in a catch-22 situation,” the AG said and sought guidance from the court. However week off lockdowns would be great option as per the situatiopn, or government should impose new norm for companies for 5 days work culture and then lockdown for 2 days. this will surely control the situation.
The court also told the government officers to immediately impose curbs on large gatherings and put a cap of 25-50 persons for funerals and marriages. There should also not be political gatherings of large scale. The government assured the court that this suggestion would be immediately implemented.
Justice Karia was concerned about breaking the chain of virus and inquired with the government what steps are being taken in this regard. The AG appraised the court of measure taken by the civic body and said that people have a fear of getting tested. He informed the court about the quarantine policy and assured the court that the rules would be enforced.
The chief justice also asked the state government to “procure enough quantity of medicines” and nobody should suffer because of lack of medication. The court asked so when there was a discussion on shortage of remdesivir. The government assured that remdesivir will be made available in enough quantity.
The judges were concerned about the situation and said, “Things are going from bad to worse.” The chief justice even commented that some people feel that the official figure of Covid-19 cases is not real and the government shows it on a lower side. The CJ said that the HC staff is working under pressure and a standing committee meeting would soon take place to take a decision on the situation. He said that a former registrar general is seriously ill and 3-4 sitting HC judges and their family members are down with Covid at present.
The court observed that the Covid-19 situation across the state is equally bad with over 3,000 cases reported daily and the government must step up to control things. The CJ said that the hospital beds, acquired earlier in private hospitals by the government for Covid patients, have been released and the mortality rate too is going up.