COVID-19: Kerala High Court tells State Police Chief to deploy enough force to prevent crowding at vaccination centres


A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed State Police Chief Loknath Behera to ensure that sufficient personnel are deployed to make certain there is no crowding or gathering at various vaccination centres in the State.

The Bench comprising Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice Dr. Kauser Edappagath passed the directive while initiating a suo motu case based on newspaper reports about overcrowding in some vaccination centres.

The court asked the police chief not to use unnecessary force but to “empathetically persuade” people at the vaccination centres not to flout the COVID-19 protocol. It also directed the State government to inform the court about the steps taken to prevent crowding at vaccination centres.

Defeat of purpose

The court observed that if uncontrolled crowding was allowed, the very purpose of vaccination would boomerang since what was intended to be a prophylactic exercise would perhaps become superspreader events.

The court, therefore, could not allow any crowding or nervous congregation of people in any of the vaccine centres and directions needed to be issued to ensure that such events did not happen in the future.

The court also noted that the primary reason for overcrowding was due to the impression that vaccines were not available.

K.V. Sohan, State Attorney, submitted that the government had taken steps to avoid crowding by stopping spot registration and making online registration mandatory for vaccination. He also pointed out that the State was in the process of administering 2.43 lakh doses of vaccine as of now.

โ€˜No vaccine wastageโ€™

Besides, 4.75 lakh doses were expected to arrive in a day or two. In fact, 25 lakh doses of Covaxin and 75 lakh doses of Covishield had been ordered for the month of May. He also submitted that Kerala was one of the States where not a single dose of vaccine had been wasted and where the maximum number of people were vaccinated.

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