Madras High Court Closes Suo Moto COVID-19 Case
In view of a gradual decrease in the number of covid cases, the Madras High Court on Tuesday officially closed the suo moto case which was registered this year in April after an outbreak of the second wave of the deadly virus. The suo moto cognizance was taken up by the court with an aim to monitor the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry as well as take stringent action against the private hospitals and pharmacies for selling the Remdesivir at higher costs and submit a report before this Court.
Now considering the fall of cases the division bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy stated that the closure of the case along with a few other related PILs would be appropriate for the time being.
Compared to the last few months, State has witnessed a sharp decline in the number of covid cases. Looking at the current situation, certain lockdown restrictions are being gradually lifted up from several districts. While some districts will still be under strict lockdown guidelines. Moreover, the state will be under lockdown till June 28, 2021, according to the recent official notification by the Government.
THREAT OF THE THIRD WAVE-
Though the court observed that situation is under control, for now, there is high speculation regarding the outburst of the third wave that too among the children at large. However, the court noted that the outbreak of the third wave of the deadly virus is not scientifically proved yet. Further, the expectation that the third wave might attack children has no scientific base.
Preparation For the Third Wave-
Nevertheless, the court highlighted that the matter should be dealt with caution. The court clearly noted that the State should not immediately discontinue the production of items or facilities which were developed on an emergency basis to deal with the second wave. It should not lag behind in providing necessary facilities or emergency services. The state should keep itself prepared in case of the third wave hits within the next four to six months. The state must keep itself equipped with basic requirements of oxygen, emergency beds, medicines, etc. to fight against the emergency situation.
The massive vaccination drive undertaken by the Union Government is now showing notable impact. The number of vaccinated people has increased in the last few days. The court expressed its hope regarding the further increase in the supply of vaccines so as to target the whole population as early as possible.
-The court noted that awareness drives are being undertaken via print and electronic media in order to break the superstitions and rumors prevailing in society regarding the side effects of vaccines.
-Further vaccination drives are undertaken to inoculate the tribals and tea garden workers, along with other frontline workers.
- Vaccination drives have been undertaken in the High Court complex in the city and in some of the District Court complexes. However, due to fewer visitors vaccination drives have been stopped at the High Court Complex and will continue in the District Court.
Suo moto proceeding was the need of an hour during the second wave to ensure coordination between Central and State Governments in the matters relating to drugs, oxygen, and other essentials to the State and the union territory. The intention of the court was not to take over the administration in its hand but to supervise the management of emergency situation like pandemic.
The court emphasized the need of providing vaccination to students and to individuals traveling abroad as well as the accelerated need to supply a second dose to such persons.