Allahabad HC takes notice of COVID-19 surge in UP, asks authorities to enforce protocol

Express News Service
LUCKNOW:  In the wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh, Allahabad High Court ave asked upon the state authorities on Tuesday to enforce rules to make masks 100 per cent mandatory across the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Moreover, the court also directed the Director-General of Police (DGP) to chalk out a programme to make people comply with the protocol to combat the ongoing surge in the cases of infection.

In fact, the state breached the 5000-mark on Tuesday and recorded 5928 fresh cases during the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, 30 persons lost the battle to the deadly virus.

Hearing a PIL relating to Covid-19, a division bench, comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma, directed the respective district administrations and police authorities to ensure that crowding does not happen at any place across the state.

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“If it finds that any particular place is likely to get crowded, then it should be cordoned off and see that people do not huddle”, said the bench. Referring to the upcoming Panchayat elections in the state, the court asked the authorities concerned to conduct the polls in such a manner so as to avoid crowding of people at booths.

“Be it nomination, campaigning or voting, it should be seen that the COVID-19 protocols are followed,” said the court. Moreover, the court also asked the state government to explore the viability of vaccination for everyone irrespective of age groups. “Government should explore the viability of inoculating such students who have to appear in the Uttar Pradesh High School and Intermediate Board Examinations. In fact, a door-to-door vaccination programme should be chalked out”, the court added.

Besides, the HC also directed the state government to see if night curfew could be clamped to avoid late evening social gatherings. “The state government may also examine viability to provide masks and sanitisers by utilising the amount recovered on account of violation of COVID-19 protocol”, the court directed.

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Elaborating the need for passing these directives, the court observed, “Though the state government has taken necessary steps to meet the challenge of the second wave of COVID-19, it is noticed that the directions given by the state have not been complied with by the public at large and that is an issue ofconcern. Having considered all the objective conditions, we deem it appropriate to direct the district magistrates of all the districts in the state of Uttar Pradesh to ensure strict and definite compliance of the directions issued by the government of Uttar Pradesh from time to time to meet with the threat of COVID-19.”