‘Breach of COVID-19 norms in markets will hasten third wave’

People throng Sadar Bazar market after several lockdown measures were eased recently in Delhi.  

The Delhi High Court on Friday took suo motu cognisance of violations of COVID-19 protocols at various markets across the Capital where people are seen not wearing masks and flouting social distancing norms.

A Bench of Justices Navin Chawla and Asha Menon said, “We have paid a huge price in the second wave. We do not know if there is any household that has not suffered in the second wave, closely or remotely.”

“Such breaches will only hasten the third wave, which is likely to come, and this cannot be permitted,” the HC said. The Bench issued notices to the Centre and the Delhi government noting that strict measures were required to be implemented across the city to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

If COVID-19 norms continue to be flouted “we will be in a great trouble... God help us if all that happens”, said the Bench.

The High Court directed authorities to take strict measures to sensitise the public, shopkeepers and market associations.

The direction came after the HC took note of several photographs sent to its judges by AIIMS doctors showing people crowding marketplaces without following COVID-19 protocols.

‘Deploy personnel’

The High Court suggested deploying civil defence volunteers and police personnel at marketplaces.

It has posted the case for further hearing on July 9.

During the hearing, the counsels for the Centre and Delhi government assured the court that strict measures are already being taken to ensure protocol is maintained at markets and also followed by the street vendors.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, representing the Centre, said he will take up the concerns raised by the court to the authorities concerned.

“We cannot afford a third wave,” Mr. Sharma added.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 3:43:06 PM |

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