HC directs Delhi govt to file status report on steps to control Covid-192 min read . Updated: 11 Nov 2020, 07:54 PM IST
The Sero-Surveillance Report-4 filed by Delhi govt and submitted before the court showed that Covid infection in has shot up by two and a half times vis-a-vis the earlier two surveillances conducted in August and September
New Delhi: The Delhi High court on Wednesday directed the Delhi Government to file a status report setting out the steps taken by it in the past two weeks to control the COVID-19 infection. The court came down heavily on Delhi government for relaxing the norms of movement of of public in the city. The Sero-Surveillance Report-4 filed by the Delhi Government submitted before the court showed that infection in the Central District of Delhi has shot up by two and a half times vis-a-vis the earlier two Sero-Surveillances conducted in August and September.
The conclusion of the latest Sero-Surveillance Report that relates to samples collected between 15 October to 21 October, is that Delhi is continuing to report increasing number of cases which is yet to reach its peak and that antibody production among new SARS COVID-II infections occurs over the subsequent 3-4 weeks and amongst asymptomatic cases, are likely to disappear over the next 2-3 months.
The positivity rate of the infection in Delhi is 25% which means that out of 100 persons, 25 persons have already got infected with the COVID-19 infection. In other words, 1 out of 4 persons has been infected with COVID-19 infection, the report submitted before High court said.
The observation and direction on an ongoing petition by advocate Rakesh Malhotra on ramping up of testing in Delhi. The court has now expanded the scope of the petition.
“No household has been left untouched. In such circumstances, we would have thought that emergent corrective steps would have been taken and a concerted strategy worked out by the Govt. of Delhi to contain the infection. However, it has been noticed that even in such a critical situation, the Delhi Government has continued to relax the norms relating to movement of the public. This is apparent from the fact that as against an order capping 100 guests at marriage ceremonies, the number of guests has been permitted to be increased to 200." The court order reads.
The court observed that Delhi Government has now permitted the seats in public transport to be fully occupied.
“... alarming situation where all caution has been thrown to the winds during this festive season and the public is out in uncontrolled numbers, which itself would become a cause for further spread of the infection. On the one hand, citizens of Delhi have been struggling with the COVID-19 infection and on the other hand, the air pollution in the city is adding to their woes. It is a known fact that the COVID-19 virus can survive for a longer duration in pollution and thereby increase the severity of the disease." It added.
“As a matter of fact, any of these large gatherings of the public in narrow and constricted streets and spaces would result in becoming super spreaders of the infection. It is one thing for the Delhi Government to state that till a vaccine is introduced to contain the infection, masks should be treated as a vaccine and another thing to demonstrate how it proposes to enforce such a statement. The situation has surpassed the stage of issuance of Advisories. Strict compliance and deterrent action is the need of the hour. If Delhi Government is serious about implementing its policy/strategy to contain the infection, then we would have thought that by now, there would have been some sanctions through appropriate legislation for enforcing wearing of masks in public places." The order reads.
The next date of hearing is on 19 November.