The Delhi High Court today pulled up the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of the city-state for relaxing norms for public movement and gatherings in the national capital despite the rise in cases of coronavirus infection (Covid-19). It questioned whether the city-state government had any policy or strategy in place to deal with the “alarming” situation.
A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramanium Prasad said that when Delhi, as a city-state, was “hands down beating” Maharashtra and Kerala in the number of daily new cases in the past two weeks, what concrete steps have been taken by the AAP government to contain the spread of infection.
The court noted that the daily number of new Covid-19 cases received for 10 November was at 8,593 and “still counting” and the number of containment zones in the city was 4,016.
The court further noted that as per the latest serological survey report of the government, the antibodies were present in 25% of the persons tested, which meant that one in four persons had been infected by Covid-19.
“No household has been left untouched,” the bench said, referring to the survey data. The court questioned why the Delhi government had relaxed norms in a situation when other similarly placed states were bringing in restrictions.
The court questioned the rationale behind allowing 200 people to attend public functions instead of reducing the number and permitting public transportation to be fully occupied, saying that these could turn into “super spreaders” of the infection.
The court sought to know also why the Delhi government, represented by additional standing counsel Satyakam, had not come out with any legislation to ensure strict adherence to wearing of masks, which had to be treated like a preventive measure like a “vaccine” until the actual vaccine comes.
The court directed the Delhi government to file a status report explaining steps taken by it in the last two weeks, when the Covid-19 cases have risen alarmingly, to contain the spread of the infection and listed the matter for further hearing on 19 November.