The Supreme Court on Monday exoressed satisfaction over the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic. A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said that government has become "very active" in dealing with the present situation, and "even critics have appreciated its efforts".
"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," said the bench, also comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant.
The remarks by the bench came when it was hearing a batch of pleas which have sought directions 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.
The top court asked the petitioners to submit a representation to the government in this regard.
Meanwhile, another plea was mentioned before the bench seeking closure of places of worship to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of the virus. To which the CJI said, "We cannot pass orders which we cannot implement. We will ask the states to consider your plea as a representation and look into it."
One of the petitions sought a direction to the authorities to exponentially increase the number of quarantine or isolation centres, temporary hospital beds in rural areas, widespread availability of testing labs and thermal screening at public places to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plea was filed by journalist Prashant Tandon and social activist Kunjana Singh, through advocate Ashima Mandla, keeping in mind the huge population of the country. The petition also mentioned that it is imperative 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.
A substantive percentage of the Indian population consists of daily wage workers who use public transport, live under unhygienic conditions and do not possess adequate sanitation resulting in spread of COVID-19, the plea has said.
However, the country has gone into a state of lockdown, till March 31st to prevent the spread of the virus. Trains, metro services, inter-state transport has been suspended in an unprecedented move. In several parts of the country sectionn 144 has also been imposed to make people stay in their homes.