The Allahabad High Court on Thursday directed the UP Government to conduct mass testing in the entire state, particularly in high-risk cities of Gautambudh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Agra, Bareilly, Kanpur Nagar, Lucknow and Varanasi.
A bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar has ordered that the "combing exercise" which was being carried out by the authorities in the city of Prayagraj, in compliance of a HC order dated June 18, 2020, should be carried out in all the districts of Uttar Pradesh, especially the above named ones.
The bench has also sought a status report on the same, by the next date of hearing, i.e. July 13.
"On the next date fixed, the Additional Advocate General shall also inform as to how the operation of tracing, testing and treatment which is being done in the district of Prayagraj is also being done in the above named districts," the bench said.
The court was hearing the case titled In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive. Though the said PIL was registered to adders the horrendous conditions of Quarantine Centers in the state, the Court has also been overseeing the steps taken by the authorities to prevent the spread of infection, though this case.
Inter alia, the Court has criticized gatherings outside public places and has ordered the local authorities to remain present on the next date of hearing and show cause why the such unauthorized gatherings were not being removed.
"Government Institutions and the private Institutions which are being plagued by the presence of unauthorized shops outside their premises may also write to the Nagar Nigam and the Police for their removal and may also send copies of their complaints/ applications to the High Court."
The court has also taken note of a letter petition moved by Advocate Rishu Mishra highlighting the problems related to disposal of masks.
"The Nagar Nigam shall also inform as to how the disposal of these used masks would be done," the court said while admitting the petition.
In addition to the above, the state authorities have been asked to:
- advertise Covid helpline numbers on the front page of leading newspapers everyday;
- available the Rapid Testing Kits (Antigen) as and when they are required by the Health Department
- earmark rooms, in and around one of the hospitals at Prayagraj, so that the new RT-PCR machine is installed and testing process is expedited.
Case Title: In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive Respondent
Case No.: PIL No. 574/2020
Quorum: Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar
Appearance: ASGI Shashi Prakash Singh andAAG Manish Goyal assisted by Advocate AK Goyal (for State); Advocate Gaurav Kumar Gaur (for Petitioner assisted the Court by giving certain relevant facts) Dr. Rishi Sahai (Nodal Officer of Covid-19); Dr. Shitanshu Shukla (Nodal Urban Containment Officer)