HC pulls up AAP govt for relaxing norms even as COVID-19 cases spike in Delhi

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New Delhi, Nov 11 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Wednesday pulled up the AAP government for relaxing norms for public movement and gatherings in the national capital even as COVID-19 cases were increasing and questioned whether it has any policy or strategy in place to deal with the 'alarming' situation.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramanium Prasad said that when Delhi, as city state, was 'hands down beating' Maharashtra and Kerala in the number of daily new cases in the past two weeks, what concrete steps have been taken by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to contain the spread of infection.

The court noted that the daily number of new COVID-19 cases received for November 10 was at 8,593 and 'still counting' and the number of containment zones in the city were 4,016.

The court further noted that as per the latest sero survey report of the government the antibodies presence was detected in 25 per cent of the persons tested which meant that one in four persons has been infected by COVID-19.

'No household has been left untouched,' the bench said, referring to the survey data and questioned as to why the Delhi government was relaxing norms in such a situation when other similarly placed states were bringing in restrictions.

The court questioned the rationale behind allowing 200 people to attend public functions instead of reducing the number and permitting public transportation to be fully occupied, saying that these could turn into 'super spreaders' of the infection.

The court also sought to know as to why the Delhi government, represented by additional standing counsel Satyakam, has not come out with any legislation to ensure strict adherence to wearing of masks which was being termed as a 'vaccine' till the actual vaccine comes.

It directed the Delhi government to file a status report explaining steps taken by it in the last two weeks, when the COVID-19 cases have risen alarmingly, to contain the spread of the infection and listed the matter for further hearing on November 19. PTI HMP SA