The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that all migrants have been shifted to the nearest available shelters as they pose a risk of spreading the coronavirus if they return home, even as the Solicitor General said that fake news and misinformation were primarily responsible for creating panic among the people.
The Supreme Court favoured criminal action to be taken against those spreading the misinformation on Coronavirus. The apex court also added that there must be an official channel to communicate with the masses.
The Solicitor General also told the court that food and shelter is being regularly provided to the people and till now 6.68 lakh people have been provided temporary accommodation and 22.88 lakh people are being provided with food
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta told the apex court the government was satisfied with efforts to contain the spread of the infection. He added that thermal screening of people returning to the country began at airports much before any case was detected.
The Solicitor General also submitted before the court that the rural population is largely unaffected by the virus but there is a high possibility that out of 10 people 3 might be virus carriers moving from cities to villages.
The apex court ordered for a web portal to be set up within 24 hours to disseminate information regarding the Coronavirus to the general public. The court also accepted the recommendation of the Solicitor General to allow religious and community leaders to speak to the migrants so as to avoid panic.
Two more deaths due to Covid-19 were reported today, one each from Kerala and West Bengal. The number of active cases in the country rose with more infections in New Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, among other states. The government maintains there is no community transmission of the virus.
The government maintains there is no community transmission of the virus but is studying emerging hotspots (where there are several clusters of cases; a cluster is an area with more than 10 cases), where they will follow “rigorous surveillance”. The 10 hotspots identified include Dilshad Garden and Nizamuddin in New Delhi, Noida, Meerut, Bhilwara in Punjab, Ahmedabad, Kasargod and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, Mumbai and Pune.
-India Legal Bureau