Is govt. taking steps to get people in slums vaccinated, asks HC

Court was hearing pleas on implementation of guidelines to prevent spread of virus

Observing that administration of COVID-19 vaccination to citizens is now key in controlling the spread of the infection, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday asked the State government to inform whether it is taking any measure to persuade people living in thickly populated vulnerable areas to take vaccine.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar passed the order while hearing PIL petitions related to issues that cropped up during the lockdown and unlock periods, and implementation of guidelines issued to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Pointing out that there are a large number of people living in slums and construction sites as major infrastructure projects are under way, the Bench said the question is whether the State government should make special efforts to persuade those persons, who are more vulnerable to get COVID-19, to take vaccine as per the protocol fixed by the Central government.

Perhaps it will be the measure in the right direction to curb the spread of COVID-19 when the number of positive cases are on the rise in Karnataka, particularly in Bengaluru Urban district, the Bench observed.

Lapse by airlines

On queries made by the court during an earlier hearing on the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the government told the Bench it was noticed that airlines were allowing passengers to fly to Karnataka without mandatory negative RT-PCR certificate from the flagged states. On enquiries with the passengers, it was disclosed that airline staff were not insisting for negative certificates from them.

Following this, it was told to the Bench on behalf of the government, a communication was sent to all the airlines on March 19 by the designated nodal officers requesting them not to allow passengers sans negative RT-PCR test to board the aircraft at the originating locations while cautioning about penal action in case of failure to follow the norm.

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