Gujarat HC asks political leaders to observe COVID-19 guidelines

 thehindu.com  09/16/2020 19:16:01 

The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday directed all political parties and politicians to observe COVID-19 guidelines and dont flout any rules about social distancing as the state is still in the grip of COVID-19 pandemic.

The division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala observed that rules are same for everyone and political leaders should lead by examples.

The court is hearing the sup motu petition about the COVID-19 situation in the state.

The court has also directed the authorities to ensure that all guidelines regarding wearing of masks and social distancing must be enforced across the state and everyone including political leaders must follow them.

The courts direction came following a series of rallies the ruling party leaders and newly appointed state party President CR Patil held in the state violating the norms about maintaining social distancing and gathering of crowds.

Moreover, the High Court bench also took note of rising COVID-19 cases in Rajkot which has emerged as the new epicentre with soaring cases and deaths in the city.

As per the local sources, more than 1000 people have died of COVID-19 in Rajkot but due to under reporting of numbers, the health departments official figure is 118.

The health department and the authorities of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation must ensure that the situation should not out of their control, the bench observed.

Meanwhile, as the cases are soaring, the state government in the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday decided against voluntary opening of schools from September 21st. All schools and colleges in the state to remain shut till further notice.

The government has also slashed the rates for testing in private labs. As per the new rates, for RT-PCR test, Rs 1500 will be charged by private labs for sample collected at the lab while Rs 2000 fixed for sample collected from house.

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