Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday sounded a warning that unless the crowding in various markets in the national capital in violation of Covid protocols is stopped, it will hasten the arrival of a third wave. The court said that the trend cannot be accepted at all.
The High Court called upon the Centre and Delhi government to come up with strict measures, make shopkeepers aware of the requirements and hold meetings with markets and vendor bodies to ensure compliance. The bench also asked the Centre and Delhi government to present a status report.
A vacation bench of Justices Navin Chawla and Asha Menon took cognisance of the scant regard shown by street vendors in markets as could be seen in some photographs sent to one of the judges of the high court by an AIIMS doctor, and came out with cautionary observations.
"We have paid a huge price in the second wave. We don't know if there is any household which has not suffered in the second wave, closely or remotely," the bench observed.
Delhi has been in complete lockdown since April 19. Earlier this month, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said a task force was being set up to track a possible third wave of Covid. ICU beds and medicine supplies are also being ramped up. "We are preparing for third wave of COVID-19 keeping in mind that 37,000 cases may be reported at its peak," NDTV quoted Kejriwal as having said on June 5.
With the lifting of lockdown on Monday, though still under certain restrictions, Delhi started seeing large crowds at shopping areas in the city, throwing social distancing and mask-wearing to the wind. The easing of restrictions was made with a steady fall in Covid cases in the past few weeks. This also caused heavy rush at metro stations, prompting warnings from health personnel. Weekly markets are however open only with 50 percent vendors and one market per day functioning in each municipality zone.