A day after the Gujarat High Court directed the state government to “come out with a notification” mandating community service at Covid centres for those found not wearing masks or violating social distancing rules, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the order.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah stayed the direction on a plea by the state government, which contended that it is “contrary to law and will have adverse impact on the public health system”.
The petition said the High Court direction “has the potential of backfiring and may actually result in increase of the number of Covid cases, rather than achieve the object with which it has been passed”.
Seeking the stay, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said sometimes cure is more dangerous than the prevention.
Mask should be worn, but this is not the cure for not wearing it, he said, adding that the harm of not wearing a mask is much less than sending a person to a Covid centre.
Earlier, New Zealand had announced it would put all COVID-19 patients into mandatory quarantine camps. The announcement didn’t say much about how the quarantine would be.
However, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a Facebook live video explained in detail how each and every activity will be monitored in these camps and those that refuse to be tested would be forced to stay in the camps for a longer duration.