COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh:  Allahabad HC asks Yogi govt to give up 'my way or no way', urges to enforce two-week lockdown
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Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court has slammed the Yogi Adityanath government for its failure to control the second surge of coronavirus and urged the government yet again to impose a 14-day lockdown in the state.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Siddharth Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar rejected the state government’s proposal on controlling the pandemic saying that the government should give up it’s “my way or no way” attitude and follow the court’s directives on tackling the situation.

“It is shameful that the state government is failing to provide oxygen to patients dying due to the deadly virus,” rapped the High Court.

Passing orders on a PIL, the two-member bench also pulled the State Election Commission (SEC) for its failure to enforce Covid-19 guidelines during the ongoing panchayat polls resulting in deaths of 135 government employees on poll duties.

Issuing a notice to the SEC, the High Court warned that it will initiate criminal proceedings against the commission officials if they failed to persuade the people follow COVID guidelines and protocol during the last phase of panchayat polls. The court has fixed May 3 as the next date for hearing the case.

Expressing concern over the covid-19 situation getting out of hands, the two-member bench said that “if things are not in control then we request you again to impose a two-week lockdown.”

“Please suggest it to your policy makers. It is blowing out of proportion. There is a shortage of doctors, staff, oxygen, beds and medicines. Everything looks good on paper but the fact remains that there is a shortage of everything. With folded hands, we request you to exercise your discretion,” urged the two-member bench.

Earlier, the High Court had suggested a two-week lockdown in five cities about a week ago but the Yogi Adityanath government had moved the Supreme Court which granted a stay against the Allahabad High Court order.

The Bench observed that the steps taken by the Yogi adityanath government are not sufficient to tackle the crisis. It has suggested some steps that the state government needs to follow. The High Court has accordingly directed a Secretary-level officer to submit a detailed report on its implementation at the next hearing on May 3. Refusing to accept the blueprint submitted by the state government to control the situation, the High Court has directed District Judges in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur, Agra, Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budha Nagar and Jhansi to appoint a Senior Civil Judge as Nodal Officer and directed them to submit a weekly report on the current pandemic situation to the Registrar General of the Allahabad High Court.

“We will not tolerate your paper work anymore for tacking the situation. Now you do what we order,” declared the High Court, suggesting following directives for the state government to follow:

1. Medical bulletins in major cities to reduce the burden on hospitals

2. Vacant bed information on portal

3. Hospitals should not deny admissions to critical patients on negative antigen report

4. Recruit more medical staff on contracts and regulate supply of medicines, oxygen etc in hospitals

5. Duties of Doctors, health workers should rotated every six hours

6. Set up more Covid Hospitals and Centres

7. Submit details of actual figures of fatalities to Nodal Officers appointed by the High Court.

8. SHOs should ensure cremation of dead as per Covid-19 guidelines and make available details to local bodies for registration of deaths

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