Orissa High Court sets 15-day deadline for government to sanitize cities

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The Orissa High Court has set a 15-day deadline for the State Government to come clear on the steps being taken for proper sanitization and fogging of disinfectants in view of the spike in Covid-19 cases in the Twin City of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

City-based lawyer Bijaya Kumar Ragada filed a petition alleging that there was disorder in implementation of the Covid-19 guidelines and sanitization in the two cities. The situation was so because there are no corporators in the absence of an elected body in the two municipal corporations. The petition sought the Court’s direction to appoint Advocate Commissioners to oversee the implementation of the guidelines.

When the petition was taken up for hearing through video conferencing on Tuesday, the Court wanted to know about the steps being taken by the State authorities. Advocate General Ashok Parija sought time for it. Allowing it, the division bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice BR Sarangi posted the matter to September 30 for hearing along with the Government’s response.

The petitioner had also sought direction to the Government to establish at least one Covid clinic per two wards in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar and provide regular staff/doctors for the health facilities.The petition contended that in view of the rise in positive cases, the Covid clinics were necessary for the purpose of initial medical attention, checking of blood sugar and collection of samples for tests in order to prevent gathering of people in hospitals.

However, the Court did not want to interfere in the issue. The Bench in its order said, “Having regard to the facts and circumstances, particularly when the petitioner has not given any empirical data to justify the demand to establish one Covid centre each for a set of two wards, we leave it to the State Government to deal with the situation arising out of the spread of coronavirus as to where and what number of Covid centres be set up to treat the patients, depending on the availability of infrastructure, medical and para medical staff”.

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