City Buzz: Courts step in to address COVID situation | Under-45 vaccine drives delayed | Pune sees fall in cases… and more

A quick look at key and localised Covid-19 developments from across the cities

Supreme Court prohibits action against people appealing on social media for help

The Supreme Court made it clear on April 30, 2021 that no state can register FIR or take any other action against people posting appeals for help on social media. The court further said that it was important to hear the voices of our citizens in distress and not clampdown on them. The apex court warned that it would see it as a contempt of court if any state engages in any such activity.

Ever since the surge of COVID cases in the country, online forums have been flooded with SOS messages from citizens seeking help in arranging for oxygen and medicines for friends and family. The Supreme Court’s order came in the wake of a case in Amethi, where a 26-year-old man was booked by the police for allegedly spreading “false information” on social media over the supply of oxygen. Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, had said that there was no shortage of oxygen supply in any COVID-19 hospital and that individuals who spread “rumours” and propaganda on social media and try to “spoil the atmosphere” should have their properties seized under the National Security Act.

Source: Hindustan Times | Mint | The Hindu

Pune: Positivity rate declines, fall in active cases

Pune’s positive rate has come down from 26% to 23% in the last one week and the city has also registered a fall in active cases, making residents hopeful. Medical experts are of the view that hospitalization incidents will also become negligible in the coming 10-15 days. Lockdown has helped in bringing down the positivity rate.

Read more: Feeling ill and suspecting COVID in Mumbai? Here’s what to do

However, as per the state COVID-19 analysis, Nagpur, Pune and Nashik will host the majority of active cases by 11th May. The analysis was discussed in the Maharashtra government cabinet meeting which extended the lockdown in the state to 15th May. The state COVID Task Force has recommended to extend the lockdown in order to curb the growing infection rate.

Source: The Indian Express

Delhi High Court intervenes in COVID-19 situation in the capital

Radha Saomi Covid Care Facility in Delhi. Pic: Arvind Kejriwal/Twitter

Delhi High Court has passed several orders to address the COVID-19 situation in the capital. The court has ordered the Delhi Police to immediately return the seized oxygen concentrators and medicines. The police had raided the markets that were selling these in black and at exorbitant prices. The court observed that people are in a desperate situation right now and these are essential commodities. The court further directed the enforcement agencies to follow protocols during and after the seizure.

Read more: Don’t let your desperation during COVID times make you fall for such scams

The high court has also asked the Centre to clear the doubts on why states like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra got more oxygen then Delhi. The court said that either the government has to explain this or amend the distribution scheme. The Delhi government had ordered for 490 MT of oxygen but received only 400 MT. On Saturday, as eight lives, including that of a doctor, were lost at Delhi’s Batra Hospital after it ran out of oxygen, the Court said that the Centre must ensure that Delhi receives its 490 tonnes (of medical oxygen) today by whatever means

Source: The Indian Express | NDTV

More than one lakh active cases in Greater Hyderabad

The active cases have been on a rise in Greater Hyderabad city. On April 29th, the city crossed the one lakh mark and now the active cases stand at 1,00,881. Greater Hyderabad has turned into a COVID hotspot, something that even official accounts agree with. The area has registered more than 1500 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest-ever spike in a single day this year. The administration has created 45 micro-containment zones to curb the spread.

Source: The Times of India

Cloud looms over May 1 vaccination drive, states back out

Amidst vaccine shortage and rising cases, several states have decided to defer the rollout of the third phase of COVID vaccination. On April 30th, Delhi CM made it clear and urged people to not assemble at vaccination centres as the capital has not received the fresh supplies of vaccines. Madhya Pradesh also decided to postpone its vaccination drive as it is yet to receive the ordered quantities of vaccines, while the Andhra Pradesh CM has postponed the drive till September. Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Punjab have also decided to shift the vaccination drive as they struggle to get new doses of vaccine.

Representational image

As per the current arrangement, 50% of the supply to the state will be done by the Union whereas the other 50% will have to procured by states directly from the market.

Source: The Indian Express

Gurugram asks for makeshift COVID hospitals

The Gurugram city administration has urged city-based corporates to come forward and help to set up makeshift COVID hospitals using their budgets under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The officials have informed that several companies have expressed their interest in establishing such COVID-care facilities. The administration is also trying to engage with religious institutes and to utilize their properties for managing the case load of the city.

The city registered its highest single day spike of 5042 cases and nine deaths on Thursday, April 29th. The positivity rate of the city remains at 9%.

Source: Times Now | Business Insider

[Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava]

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