Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India
File photo

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday said that COVID-19 pandemic has spread like a "wild fire" in the country due to lack of implementation of guidelines and standard operating procedure (SoPs) issued to contain it.

Terming it as a "world war" against COVID-19, the apex court said that due to the "unprecedented pandemic" everybody in the world is suffering one way or the other.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said that any decision to impose curfew or lockdown must be announced long in advance so that people may know and make provisions for their livelihood.

The bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, said that frontline health care workers including doctors and nurses are already "exhausted physically and mentally due to tireless work for eight months" and some mechanism may be needed to give them intermittent rest.

It said every state must act vigilantly and work with the Centre harmoniously in this pandemic time.

"It is the time to rise to the occasion. Safety and health of the citizens must be the first priority, rather than any other considerations," the bench said.

The top court passed a slew of directions for implementation of the COVID-19 guidelines and SOPs across the country.

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