Coronavirus situation 'may worsen'; SC seeks reports from 4 states
The Supreme Court on Monday took note of the worsening COVID-19 situation in India and asked four states to submit status reports. The apex court said immediate steps are required by all states to stem the spread of COVID-19. As of Monday, 91.4 lakh people have been infected by the novel coronavirus across India, while 1,33,738 have lost their lives.
A three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah was hearing a suo motu petition on the proper treatment of COVID-19 patients and the dignified handling of dead bodies in the hospitals. The court heard the plea as certain news reports showed bodies lying unattended in hospitals. The case will be taken up for further hearing on Friday.
The court has directed the state governments of Assam, Delhi, Gujarat, and Maharashtra, to file updated status reports on the COVID-19 situation by Wednesday. According to LiveLaw, the SC directed, "All states have to be prepared to combat the situation of COVID-19 which is likely to worsen and immediate steps required by all states. Status report be filed within two days. List on Friday."
Representing the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that while the central government has intervened to address the COVID-19 situation, more needs to be done. Senior advocate Sanjay Jain—representing the National Capital Territory of Delhi—said there are dedicated slots for the cremation of those deceased, there's an upsurge of ICU hospitals, and 80% ICU beds in private hospitals have been reserved for COVID-19 patients.
Singling out Gujarat, the court said, "The Gujarat situation is next to Delhi. Worse situation. What action has been taken?" Justice Shah slammed the state government over permission granted for the performance of marriage ceremonies and processions in the state. Like Delhi, Gujarat, too, has witnessed a rise in infections, with both states reporting record single-day spikes this month.
Maharashtra reported 17,80,208 infections (92.7% recovered) and 46,623 deaths by Sunday. Infections have notably started rising in the state again. Delhi reported 5,29,863 infections (90.8% recovered) till Sunday and continues to witness massive spikes. The death toll is 8,391. Gujarat had reported a record spike of 1,515 infections just this Saturday. Till Sunday, it had reported 1,97,412 cases, including 3,859 deaths and 1,79,953 recoveries.
On the other hand, Assam has reported 2,11,513 cases (98.05% recovered) with a death toll of 974. The outbreak has largely slowed down in the state. Overall, India has reported 9,139,865 COVID-19 cases, including 1,33,738 deaths and 85,62,641 recoveries.