COVID-19: Issuance of guideline is not sufficient, continue awareness campaign: Tripura HC
Agartala: The High Court of Tripura on Tuesday directed the state government to continue with the vigilance and massive awareness campaign to avoid further spread of novel coronavirus cases in the state during the Durga Puja celebration.
Referring to the state of Kerala which saw a surge in number of positive cases post Onam festival celebration, the division bench said, “The experience in the state of Kerala during Onam was alarming because despite their management the state saw sudden spike in cases which gives us certain amount of anxiety”.
The division bench comprising chief justice Akhil Kureshi and justice Subhashish Talapatra was hearing the suo-moto case registered against covid-19 management in state.
The chief justice while hearing the matter said that the state government has partially accepted the suggestion of the court on increasing the testing data of which was provided and shared in public domain.
“All the vigil, particularly on the coming festival where there is a propensity or likelihood of people gathering and rejoicing, which we do not grudge, but all precaution should be taken to the best possible extent”, chief justice said.
The court also said that mere issuance of a guideline is not sufficient and asked the state government need to sensitize people, hold dialogue and keep a vigil during the festival season.
Justice Subhasish Talapatra said that this is the season of festivity and the government should launch their own ways of campaigns jointly with puja organizers to aware the mass to ensure social distancing.
“Launch massive campaign including the organizers of Pujas. These are the very important agencies that can destroy the best out of the state government. The state administration should hold meetings after meeting to keep them aware what they need to do”, justice Talapatra said.
Justice Talapatra also said that a team should be formed in various areas that will visit before puja pandals and see what arrangements are made and keep a vigil on how the precautionary measures are being maintained by the puja committee and the organizers.
Justice Talapatra further suggested to create an email address for the public to register their grievances to which the advocate general Arun Kanti Bhowmik replied saying the High Court is not a complaint centre.
However, Chief Justice has asked the state government to create a dedicated email address where any complaint with respect to the coronavirus handling at any of the government hospitals or centers or any similar complaint can be made directly by citizens.
“Any person sending a mail on the email address would be expected to reveal his identity and address. This centralized system would enable the government to receive suggestions on any shortcomings that have been noticed and take measures as found appropriate," chief justice said.
The amicus curiae Somik Deb pointed out that the attendant of the positive patients were found meeting people without wearing face masks and PPE kits to which the court said that they would expect that the administration would have taken measures to address the suggestions of the central team on all grounds.
The court said measures may be taken promptly if not already taken to ensure that PPE are worn by staff attending patients admitted in the GBP hospital.
“This entire report is a guide for us. We are following all the directions that the central team has suggested. Specific reply has been given and we are to the best of our ability, we are complaining with the direction given by the central team," the advocate general appraised the court.
The court has fixed the next date of hearing on December 7, after the end of puja vacation of the high court.