CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Monday asked the ministers and MLAs to ensure that the entourage accompanying them is limited and the Covid-19 protocols are followed when they visit hospitals.
The court also noted that the second surge of the pandemic appears to have subsided in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and that the only area of concern is the availability of vaccines.
The first bench comprising the Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the observations in the suo motu plea pertaining to the Covid-19 management by the state.
"It sometimes happens that despite the person leading the team advising others not to accompany, the enthusiasm cannot be checked. There may be a need, at times, to restrict the number of persons accompanying legislators while they go on their visits," said the bench in its order. However, they should maintain the Covid protocol at all times, it said.
After one of the advocates brought it to the notice of the court that several vital details are missing from the Covid-19 website of the state, the bench said, "The number of active cases, the number of deaths and other figures should be available on the State's relevant website on an actual basis."
The bench said: "...only hoped that the additional facilities are not discontinued for the next few months and, even if it costs a bit more, they are maintained if only to ensure that the dearth that was faced during the second surge is not repeated. The oxygen supplies to the State and the Union Territory have been augmented."
Noting that the only area of concern was vaccines, the bench observed, "Earlier, the Union government's commitment to ensure that 216 crore doses of vaccine are available by the end of the year has been recorded. It is hoped that the target is met sooner, rather than later."
The court also observed that the suo motu plea was taken up not to take over the management of the affairs relating to the Covid containment, but only to monitor it. The court adjourned the plea to June 7 for further submissions.