New Delhi, Nov 23 : The Supreme Court on Monday said the Covid-19 situation has worsened in Delhi and it has spiralled out control in Gujarat. Asking the governments to prepare for the worst in December, the top court noted that there has been sudden spike in novel Coronavirus cases across the country in November.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R.S. Reddy and M.R. Shah asked the central and state governments to file status reports within two days detailing steps taken and intended to address the pandemic.
The bench noted that the situation in Delhi has worsened in the last two weeks and asked the Arvind Kejriwal government to examine the bottlenecks in connection with the pandemic management.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the Centre has taken steps to improve the situation in Delhi.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing Delhi government, submitted before the top court that an expert committee has been constituted and the government had informed the court about it in July.
"The question is what is the present scenario. What efforts are you taking," Justice Ashok Bhushan said.
Jain replied everything is in place and the government has allocated 380 slots for cremation only for the Covid-19 patients. The Delhi High Court had expressed alarm over covid pyres burning through the night in the capital city as toll spiked sharply andremained elevated.
Justice Bhushan replied things have worsened in the last two weeks in the capital and sought for a status report on Covid-19 management in the capital.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had met Kejriwal over the corona situation in the capital offering help to arrest the surge in infections.
Jain, citing the new government notification, said that 115 private hospitals have reserved 80 per cent beds for the Covid patients. The top court also pulled up other state governments -- Gujarat and Maharashtra -- over the worsening Covid situation.
The bench queried the Gujarat government over its policy of wedding and unbridled gathering during the pandemic time. Justice Shah said Gujarat is worst after Delhi and Maharashtra. He added, while asking Gujarat government to file a status report, "What is your policy? What is happening?" The bench asked the Maharashtra government on the status report and asked the counsel representing the government to inform it about the steps taken and assistance required.
The apex court told the state governments it is "time to introspect" and the situation is grim. Justice Reddy added that situation of Covid cases is worsening and likely to worsen further in December. "Huge spike in cases... Prepare for December," said the bench, as it called for the status reports.
At the outset, Mehta submitted the matter related to handling of dead bodies and it is painful that court has to deal with this issue. The bench observed the matter also relates to hospitals situation.
The top court asked the Centre to file an affidavit regarding the status of the Covid cases in the country and told the state governments should gear up to address the issues. The top has listed the matter for further hearing on Friday.
The top court made these observations during the hearing of a matter where it had taken cognizance regarding the proper treatment of the Covid-19 patients and dignified handling of the bodies in the hospitals.
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