Awaiting the Bihar Government’s response to the State’s COVID-19 situation, that has been sought by the way of multiple petitions, the bench remarked residents of Bihar seemed to think the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic was over. (Shivani Kaushik v. Union of India).
The illusion of ‘Bihar corona kha gaya hai’ (Bihar has eaten up corona) has been gaining popularity among the locals and breaking this myth is the biggest challenge before the State government. Multiple pleas seeking specific direction to protect persons at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 and to ensure the establishment of infrastructure to meet the crisis was put forth before the Patna High Court. The bench comprised of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar.
The Apex Court was dealing with the matter on a ‘pan India basis’. This information was put forth by the counsel appearing for the parties. It was submitted by the Advocate-General that the responsibility of ascertaining what matters the Apex Court was dealing with and accordingly apprising the Court if the matters at hand needed to be pursued further, would be his.
The Court emphasized the necessity of awareness amongst the people regarding the State and Central government’s policies, programmes and directions under the provisions given by the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, in the rural as well as urban areas.
The Advocate General submitted before the that due to the prevailing climatic conditions, the State Government has started tirelessly campaigning for creating awareness amongst the local populace.
Additionally, the Court observed that every communication media source ought to be used to get the message across.
In conclusion, it was encouraged by the Court that people following socially beneficial schemes can be asked to sensitise the public to adhere to COVID-19 safety standards, especially wearing masks, following social distancing, avoiding public gatherings and taking all basic related precautions. The matter was posted for hearing on 8th December.