CHENNAI: Observing that there are certain discrepancies in the COVID-19 data released by the state government, a division bench of the Madras High Court directed the state to make sure that the total number of cases in the state is the same if the cases in each of the districts are put together.
A division bench of Justices MM Sundresh and R Hemalatha passed the directions on the plea moved by DMK MLA Palanivel Thiagarajan citing various discrepancies in the COVID-19 data provided by the government regarding the number of tests, recovery rate and death rate of the affected patients.
With the petitioner raising allegations that the state government has failed to implement the COVID-19 guidelines with social distancing going for a toss, the division bench in its order said, "We direct the authorities to depute officials to see to it that appropriate action is taken against those who visit crowded places like marriage halls, funerals and markets in order to make sure that there is compliance with regard to wearing masks and social distancing."
The court also observed, "If it is found that anyone is not wearing masks that too in a group, then a penalty should be imposed as decided by the government. If the present situation continues, then there is a strong possibility of increase in positive cases, as per the report of ICMR."
The court also ordered the state to file a detailed report by October 16 on the actions that are to be taken on the directions passed, "We also direct the authorities to consider the feasibility of
distribution of masks in places where there is a likelihood of social gathering, such as markets, marriage halls and funerals."