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Govt taking active steps to deal with coronavirus, even critics lauding its efforts: SC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The government is actively dealing with the situation related to coronavirus pandemic and even critics have appreciated its efforts, the Supreme Court said on Monday while stressing that "this is not politics but facts".

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, expressed satisfaction and said that government has become "very active" in dealing with the present situation.

"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, a plea was mentioned before the bench seeking closure of places of worship to ensure social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

"We cannot pass orders which we cannot implement. We will ask the states to consider your plea as a representation and look into it," the CJI told the counsel.

One of the petitions filed in the apex court has sought a direction to the authorities to exponentially increase the number of quarantine or isolation centres, temporary hospital beds in rural areas and thermal screening at public places to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plea, filed by journalist Prashant Tandon and social activist Kunjana Singh, has sought exponential increase in isolation centres and widespread availability of testing labs given the huge population of the country.

The petition, filed through advocate Ashima Mandla, has said 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.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 15:46 IST