On March 23, 2020, the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice of India S. A. Bobde, Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Surya Kant lauded government’s efforts to curb outbreak of COVID-19 while hearing plea of the petitioners seeking directions from the Supreme Court to the Centre and other concerned authorities to take more precautionary measures, including increasing the number of labs for testing of suspected Covid-19 cases.
“We are satisfied that the government has become very active to deal with the present situation and even the critics are saying that they (government) are doing a good job. This is not politics but facts,” the apex court said.
After hearing batch of petitions, the apex court said that governments are doing their best to combat COVID-19. But still they will send petitioners’ representation to the government.
Journalist Prashant Tandon and Social Activist Kunjana Singh filed petition to seek directions from Supreme Court to the government to exponentially increase isolation centres and also ensure widespread availability of testing labs to test maximum possible population of the country.
Advocate Ashima Mandla in her plea urged the apex court to issue directions to the government to create a nationwide centralised management authority to handle preventive measures.
"Thermal screening is required for persons within the country at all public places including work places, metro stations, railways stations; schools and colleges to name a few, as a precautionary measure to screen persons who may exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 to prevent spreading of the same," it said.
In one the petition, petitioners sought closure of places of worship to ensure social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. To which the apex court responded, “We cannot pass orders which we cannot implement. We will ask the states to consider your plea as a representation and look into it."
Author – Satwik Sharma