The Supreme Court on Wednesday put in place new guidelines for entrants to the court premises in light of the sudden upsurge of Covid-19 cases in Delhi.
Recently, 50 percent of Supreme Court staff tested positive for Covid-19. Therefore, the Apex Court has directed the following additional guidelines as precautionary measures to contain the spread of infection.
The Rapid Antigen/RT-PCR tests have been made mandatory for entrants like Registry staff, Staff of the Coordinate agencies, Ld. Advocates and their staffs etc showing any symptoms similar to those of Covid-19 infections.
Those with symptoms like fever, cough, body ache, loss of taste and smell, diarrhea, etc. shall restrict themselves from coming to office/premises, isolate themselves immediately, and seek medical advice, the court said.
The court has directed all controlling officers to ensure that their staff follow the Covid protocols like wears mask, maintains physical distancing, and frequently sanitizes/washes hands.
No crowding or loitering in the campus and movement in common areas shall be allowed except for specific purposes and should be within the minimum time. Also, the usage of lift has been restricted for coming downstairs, and more than 3 persons at a time shall be allowed to use only for going upwards.
The Court said, the new measures shall be in addition to the existing protocols already in place vide Circulars issued by the Registry from time to time, and such other steps as may have been taken with a view to containing the spread of Covid-19 infection within the Supreme Court of India premises.
Faced with the unprecedented outbreak of a pandemic, the three-judge bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, Justices Dr D.Y. Chandrachud, and L. Nageswara Rao, had earlier called for the functioning of courts through video conferencing. The bench had said that it was necessary that Courts at all levels respond to the call of social distancing and ensure that court premises do not contribute to the spread of the virus.