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Court asks state govt to not let guard down


The Meghalaya High Court on Thursday asked the state government to continue making efforts to ensure that there is no loss of life due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“The state government’s efforts to arrest the pandemic to ensure that there is no loss of life should continue unabated, based on medical advice and scientific reports,” said the division bench, comprising chief justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W Diengdoh, in its order.

A detailed affidavit was also filed by the secretary to the Health department during the hearing on a PIL, indicating the present position pertaining to the pandemic.
The bench said that in the light of the measures taken, no interference is called for by the court.

In the affidavit, the state has informed that the third wave of the pandemic has peaked and the positivity rate has declined from the peak level of 13.6 per cent to below 8 per cent.

However, nearly 40 per cent of the positive cases are said to have been asymptomatic and the rate of hospitalisation was nominal.

The affidavit also details the effective measures taken for vaccination and it appears that 71 per cent of vaccination of the first dose has been completed and more than 51 per cent of the second dose has also been administered. In addition, the administration of the booster dose has commenced.

Several measures have been taken, notifications issued and awareness programmes conducted to ensure that the pandemic does not spread.

The bench has further directed the department to file further status reports in the next hearing to be held on March 10.

It also said that in the light of the said affidavit, it appears that the functioning of the High Court may be altered from the complete virtual mode as of now to a hybrid mode in the course of next week and, depending on the position at the end of the next week, regular physical hearing may be resumed soon thereafter.

However, the hearing on the virtual mode should be an option, particularly for those more vulnerable and those not willing to travel to court, the bench stated.

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