India Needs “War-Like” Preparedness To Fight Pandemic: PIL to combat Coronavirus

"'Right to Health' is an integral to right to life. Government has constitutional obligation to provide the health facilities" the petition says.

Supreme Court of India

A plea seeking directions to the Government for combating the spread of Coronavirus has been filed in the Supreme Court.

The plea, filed by way of Public Interest Litigation, seeks directions for increasing Coronavirus testing laboratories and quarantine centers, keeping in mind the huge population of India.

The Petitioner(s), Prashant Tandon & Kunjana Singh are journalists and social activists and have inter alia sought availability of temporary hospitals, thermal screening at public places and such other facilities for rural patients to be combat-ready, for any exigency in case of a possible outbreak in rural India.

Bringing to light the sinister nature of COVID-19, the Petitioner has contended that the novel virus has spread across 152 countries within a span of just four months.

“as of March 15th, 2020 infecting 1,57,197* persons & resulting in 5,839* deaths, worldwide, and in our country infecting a reported 100 persons and persons and resulting in 2 reported deaths, making the present scenario precarious. Consequently, on 11.03.2020, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 as a pandemic” the Petition states.

By drawing a comparative analysis of populations of other countries with India, the Petitioner has averred that the reported number of infected cases in India appears less due to the inadequate number of testing centers, which is only amounting to 52 laboratories. According to the Petitioner, this number is far too less in terms of a population of 130 crores.

The Petitioner(s) has further averred that India needs a rapid response of war-like preparation as one innocuous person who being a carrier of COVID-1, coming in contact with a large population, which may result in an unthinkable catastrophe. In light of this, it is contended that there is a need to build facilities from Primary Health Centre Level at the Block to the District Level, so that each District of the Country is turned into self-sustaining unit.

Highlighting the Constitutional tenets of “Right to Safety” and “Right to Healthy Standard of Living”, it is stated that it is on Articles 21 & Article 47 of the Constitution of India that the petition rests.

“Right to Health’ is integral to right to life. The government has a constitutional obligation to provide the health facilities” the petition says.

Furthermore, it states that the Petitioner has relied upon numerous articles and newspaper reports to gather knowledge on the current situation and is and is concerned about the large-scale safety and security issue involved in the matter in connection with the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Petition has been filed through advocates Ashima Mandla & Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi



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May 2024


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