The Supreme Court on Friday expressed deep disappointment with state governments for not taking concrete measures against the spread of coronavirus in the country and said “the situation in the last three weeks has gone from bad to worse”.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta said the Union government was constantly monitoring the situation and issuing guidelines regularly to meet the dynamic situation but slackness in implementation of the guidelines, both precautionary and preventive, at the state level had brought about the present situation.
He said just 10 states accounted for a vast majority of Covid-19 cases in the country. The Union government in its affidavit said, “Ten states contribute almost 77% of the active Covid-19 caseload for the country. These are Maharashtra (18.9%), Kerala (14.7%), Delhi (8.5%), West Bengal (5.7%), Karnataka (5.6%), Uttar Pradesh (5.4%), Rajasthan (5.5%), Chhattisgarh (5.0%), Haryana (4.7%) and Andhra Pradesh (3.1%).”
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R S Reddy and M R Shah said, “In the last three weeks, states have not taken concrete steps despite the increase in Covid cases. The situation has gone from bad to worse.
The states should rise above politics and tighten their belts. The Union government issuing guidelines asking people to mask up and maintain social distancing is fine. But look at what is happening on the ground. People either do not wear masks or wear it improperly. … More stringent steps are required to be implemented vigorously to prevent gatherings.”