The Supreme Court asked the Centre on Tuesday to prevent migration of people due to coronavirus and set up within 24 hours a portal for disseminating real time information on the pandemic to counter the panic being spread through fake news. “Panic will destroy more lives than the virus”, the top court said and asked the Centre to get trained counsellors and community leaders of all faiths to calm down the migrants, who are kept in shelter homes across the country.
It said these shelters should be run by volunteers and not the police, and there should be no use of force and intimidation. It asked the Centre to prevent migration of people and take care of their needs of food, shelter, nourishment and medical aid. The Centre told the apex court that the suggestion by a petitioner to sprinkle water and chemicals on migrants to sanitise them does not work scientifically and is not the right way. The top court, which refused to restrain high courts from taking up the issue of migrants, said they may monitor the issue more closely.
It, however, asked the Centre to tell government lawyers to inform high courts about the orders passed by the apex court. A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, which took up two PILs on the issue of migration through video conference, asked the Centre to look into the letter petitions filed by Kerala MP from Kasaragod constituency Rajmohan Unnithan and one filed by an MP from West Bengal on the issues related to coronavirus.
The bench adjourned the hearing on the PILs to April 7, asking the Centre to ensure that duties of managing the shelter homes are entrusted to volunteers and not to the police and there should not be any use of force or intimidation. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Centre said that migration of people cannot be allowed at this juncture as this would enable the spread of coronavirus. Referring to the last census, Mehta said there were about 4.14 crore persons who had migrated for work but backward migration is now happening due to coronavirus fears.
A Srinagar-based businessman who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin travelled by air, train and road to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and back to Jammu and Kashmir before he died of COVID-19, raising fears he may have infected many others along the way, officials said on Tuesday. Among his possible victims is a doctor battling for life in a Jammu hospital. The businessman died on March 26 in a Srinagar hospital, 19 days after he set off for the national capital. He could have infected scores of people during his travels and about 300 people have been put under quarantine because of him, officials said.
The Miss Tibet pageant 2020, which was scheduled to take place in June, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials said. Applicants have been told to apply again for the 2021 pageant, which will take place from June 4-6 next year. “This year would have been the 18th edition, for which applications were opened on December 1, 2019, and was to close on March 31, 2020, with the pageant taking place from June 5 to 7 in McLeod Ganj. But it has been cancelled this year,” Lobsang Wangyal, Founder Director of the event said.
Hard-drinking Australians were told Tuesday to limit themselves to buying just 12 bottles of wine and two cases of beer a day as a coronavirus lockdown saw panic buying of alcohol. Major retailers agreed to enforce new rules limiting individual purchases as Australians went on a booze-buying spree amid a shutdown of non-essential services — including pubs and bars. “It was clear that uncertainty on the impact of supply… caused some people to purchase differently,” Retail Drinks chief executive Julie Ryan said in a statement launching the restrictions.
Amid apprehensions of substantial spread of COVID-19 after a religions congregation in Nizamuddin in the national capital left many infected with the virus, the Health Ministry on Tuesday said it was not the time to find faults but to take action. The Delhi Police has cordoned off a major area in Nizamuddin West here where many people showed symptoms of coronavirus after taking part in the Tabligh-e-Jamaat held earlier this month that was attended by over 2,000 people.