July 7, 2021 10:46:34 pm
With tourists flooding hill stations in Uttarakhand, the High Court Wednesday directed the state government to control their inflow and review its decision to relax the weekend lockdown.
A bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma cautioned that the tourists could be carriers of the Delta Plus Covid-19 variant while issuing the directions on a bunch of PILs related to the availability of health infrastructure in the state and steps taken by the government in view of pandemic.
The court directed the state “to review its decision to relax the lockdown during the weekends, and to permit a large number of tourists to invade the State during the said period. For, the tourists may bring in and introduce the dreaded Delta plus variant in the State”.
The court also pointed out media reports of hill stations of the state being inundated with tourists every weekend to Chief Secretary SS Sandhu.
The court directed Sandhu to keep it in the know about any decision related to tightening of the lockdown during the weekends.
It directed the secretary of Health and Family Welfare to inform it about the number of samples sent to the National Centre of Disease Control; about the reports received from the NCDC with regard to these samples; and about steps taken in cases where people are found to be suffering from the Delta and Delta plus variants.
The court also directed the government to inform about the number of MRI machines available in the government hospitals, whether all community health centres have doctors appointed, a complete list of CHCs without doctors, availability of pediatric beds, pediatric ventilators, and pediatric wards in the government hospitals, and in the private hospitals operating in the state and position of vaccination.
The court further directed to consider, and to implement the scheme for vaccinating the physically challenged and elderly people, as expeditiously as possible. “In case, “near to home clinics” can be established, the possibility for the same should be explored by the State Government, “the court directed.
The court order reads, “According to Mr. Amit Negi, the learned Secretary, Health and the Family Welfare, in total 521 samples have been sent to the NCDC from the State. Out of these, 144 samples have been found to be Covid19 positive, and belong to the Delta variant. A single sample, arising from the Udham Singh Nagar district, has been discovered to be as a Delta Plus variant sample.”
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