The Supreme Court on Sunday said the Centre and state governments may consider imposing lockdown to curb the spread of Covid19 infections in the second wave.

The apex court issued a slew of directions to the central and state governments regarding the current Covid19 situation in the country.

“We would seriously urge the Central and State governments to consider imposing a ban on mass gatherings and super spreader events. They may also consider imposing a lockdown to curb the virus in the second wave in the interest of public welfare,” the Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said.

“Having said that, we are cognizant of the socio-economic impact of a lockdown, specifically, on the marginalized communities. Thus, in case the measure of a lockdown is imposed, arrangements must be made beforehand to cater to the needs of these communities,” the top court said.

The Supreme Court Bench directed the Central government to formulate a national policy on admissions to hospitals, within two weeks, which shall be followed by all state governments and till then no patients will be denied admission or essential drugs in absence of local residential or identity proof, said a media report.

“Accordingly, we direct the Central Government to frame a policy in this regard, in exercise of its statutory powers under the Disaster Management Act, which will be followed nationally. The presence of such a policy shall ensure that no one in need is turned away from a hospital, due to no fault of their own,” it said.

It has been reported that   the Supreme Court said gaining admission into a hospital with a bed is one of the biggest challenges, being faced by most individuals during the second wave of Covid19 pandemic.

The top court said: “Different states and local authorities follow their own protocols. Differing standards for admission in different hospitals across the nation leads to chaos and uncertainty. The situation cannot brook any delay.”

In its order, issued late Sunday night, directed that the Centre to create a buffer stock of oxygen in collaboration with the state governments to ensure supply lines continue to function even in unforeseen circumstances and decentralise the location of the emergency stocks.

The order said: “The emergency stocks shall be created within the next four days and is to be replenished on a day to day basis, in addition to the existing allocation of oxygen supply to the states.”

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