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Covid-19: Allahabad High Court Expresses Concern Over Re-Opening Of Schools In UP; Inquires By What Date Vaccine Shall Be Available To Public

Akshita Saxena
14 Dec 2020 11:15 AM GMT
Covid-19: Allahabad High Court Expresses Concern Over Re-Opening Of Schools In UP; Inquires By What Date Vaccine Shall Be Available To Public
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"Deployment of police personnel is very essential as it alone can make people wear masks"

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday expressed concern over re-opening of schools in the State of UP amid the ongoing pandemic. It observed that there is a risk of teachers and/ or students being infected if the health protocols are not followed properly. A Division bench of Justice Ajit Kumar and Justice Siddhartha Varma was hearing the suo moto case concerning Covid-related issues...

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The Allahabad High Court on Thursday expressed concern over re-opening of schools in the State of UP amid the ongoing pandemic. It observed that there is a risk of teachers and/ or students being infected if the health protocols are not followed properly.

A Division bench of Justice Ajit Kumar and Justice Siddhartha Varma was hearing the suo moto case concerning Covid-related issues in the State. It noted that it is a matter of concern whether the teachers and students will follow the Covid-19 guidelines. "There is always a possibility that young children might violate the guidelines," it said.

Under such circumstances, the Court has directed the District Administration of all the districts of the State of UP to inspect regularly all the schools and see that Covid-19 guidelines vis-a-vis sanitization and wearing of masks are followed, without discriminating between the Government and the Private Schools.

Police surveillance

The Court stressed that proper policing is required to be done to see that 100 per cent masking is done.

On the previous hearing, the Court had directed the State Government along with the local administration to come up with such steps which would restrain the rise of the active Covid-19 cases.

On a perusal of the affidavit filed by the District Magistrate, Lucknow, the Court observed that almost 300 and odd people are getting infected everyday in the city alone.

"Though we appreciate the sincere efforts of the Police Administration but we find a lot more is needed to be done and it cannot be said that things are now under control. Further efforts should be made for restricting the spread of the infection of Covid-19," it said.

The bench directed the Police Administration of the cities of Lucknow, Gautambudh Nagar, Ghaziabad and Meerut to file a 'better affidavit', indicating the names of police personnel said to be deployed in every stretch of 2 kms of every road.

"The affidavits shall give the names of the police personnel deployed. The deployment of police personnel is very essential since we have found that policing alone can make people wear masks," the order states.

Other directions:

1. The Court has asked all the District Administrations to see that no food is consumed in the open, especially in Lucknow, Gautambudh Nagar, Ghaziabad and Meerut. "The restaurants/eateries/street vendors may be allowed to sell their edible products but only in closed packets," the order directs.

Allahabad HC Issues Instructions To Regulate Restaurants/Eateries Amid Pandemic

2. The Court has directed the Additional Advocate General to bring before the Court all the safeguards which would be taken by the UP Government for holding the Magh Mela, 2021, in the month of January and February, 2021, especially with regard to bathing.

3. The Court has asked the Additional Solicitor General of India, SP Singh, to take instructions as to by what date the vaccine would be available for the general public.

[On a previous date, the ICMR assured the Court that a vaccine to prevent further spread of the virus shall be available in the 'near future'.]

Lastly, the Court directed the Additional Advocate General to look into the grievance of an intervener-applicant, regarding non-supply of proper masks and PPE kits to the healthcare workers and doctors, who are the front-line warriors in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The matter will next be taken up on December 17, 2020.

Case Title: In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres…

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