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Coronavirus | Gujarat High Court moots 4-day lockdown amid surging cases and deaths

AHMEDABAD, 06/04/2021 : HEALTH CHAOS : A Healthcare worker takes a swab from a woman to test for the Covid-19 at Jodhpur UHC in Ahmedabad on Tuesday April 06, 2021 as cases hikes makes a new record in the state. Photo : VIJAY SONEJI / The Hindu.   | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

As the daily case counts soar across the State, the Gujarat High Court in a suo motu hearing suggested imposing three-four days lockdown or curfew to break the virus chain.

Late on Tuesday night, the State government announced that 20 main cities will be under curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. while all gatherings, rallies or meetings have been banned till April 30. The decision came as the State recorded 3,280 cases and 17 deaths in the past 24 hours while active cases jumped to 17,348 and the death toll touched 4,598.

Out of control

The Court noted that the COVID-19 situation in the State was getting “out of control”, and suggested tough measures were required to bring the situation under control as cases are rising, hospital beds are getting filled up, ventilators are in short supply while there is waiting period to cremate/bury the dead with rising fatalities.

A division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav Karia said a lockdown or curfew was needed to curb the spread of the virus.

Chief Justice Nath said the COVID-19 situation “is going from bad to worse and getting out of control” in Gujarat, with over 3,000 cases emerging for a last few days. The Court held that all kinds of gatherings, including political functions, should be controlled or stopped.

“Urgent and serious steps need to be taken to check this. Otherwise, the COVID-19 situation will go out of hand,” the bench remarked.

“May be three-four days of curfew or lockdown can be imposed to check the situation at the moment,” Chief Justice Nath said during an online hearing while Advocate General Kamal Trivedi informed the bench that the State government was in a “Catch-22” situation about the lockdown.

Chief Justice Nath noted that the night curfew, imposed from between 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in four major cities, was not proving effective.

“You can always open it after three-four days of curfew. But, this curfew will help, I think. Like, initially in March 2020, there was a curfew for two days, three days,” Chief Justice Nath said.

Reduce staff

To break the chain of the viral infection, Justice Karia also suggested that the government should limit the number of employees coming to offices or commercial establishments “so that less number of people come in contact” with each other.

Mr. Trivedi said he will take instructions from the government and revert.

“Day before yesterday, the government was seriously thinking about imposing a lockdown. But, there were views that a lockdown is likely to cause misery to the poor people,” the A-G said.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 12:57:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/covid-19-spike-gujarat-hc-suggests-lockdown-for-short-period/article34253883.ece

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