NEWS STATES TAMIL NADU
HC cautions people of worst case scenario in fight case against COVID-19
Mohamed Imranullah S.
CHENNAI 11 APRIL 2020 18:57 IST
UPDATED: 11 APRIL 2020 18:57 IST
Impresses upon need to put up united fight against the pandemic
Impressing upon the need for people to shed their differences and put up a joint fight against COVID-19, the Madras High Court has cautioned them of a worst case scenario when only a select few could be provided medical treatment and corpses might get piled up in millions.
Justice S. Vaidyanathan said: “India, being a developing country, should be more cautious and if the virus is allowed to spread, there will definitely be a cluster of corpses and there will be no sufficient burial/crematory grounds available to bury and cremate bodies.
“Indian population has already exploded and there are no fully equipped hospitals to suit the need of the hour. If the virus attacks lakhs of people in India, a pitiable condition may arise where the doctors will decide who should be saved and who should die as there are no sufficient medical equipment such as ventilators, adequate supply of oxygen, beds and so on.
“We have already caused considerable damage to nature, which is the owner of the land and it is time for nature to strike us in the form of virus. Famine and water crisis are also on the way as we have destroyed agricultural lands and waterbodies. Nature is now retaliating,” he said.
The judge made the observations while dismissing a writ petition filed by advocate M. Munusamy against steps taken by Ministry of Railways to convert over 5,000 rail coaches across the country as isolation wards to quarantine patients with mild symptoms.
Agreeing with P.T. Ramkumar, standing counsel for Southern Railway, that the rail coaches provide flexibility of being transported to any region of the country, he said people like the present litigant should desist from creating hurdles to good work done by the government.
The court cited the epic Mahabharata to impress upon the need for humanity to stand united in the fight against COVID-19 instead of finding fault and filing cases against steps taken by the administration.
“In Mahabharata, Krishna tells Draupadi that in the battle of Kurukshetra, fought between siblings, the loss will be on both sides and that even good people will die. As said, Duriyodana’s brother Vikarna, known for his honesty and integrity, gets killed by Beema.
Similarly, Gadodhgajan and Abhimanyu also get killed on the side of the Pandavas,” the judge said, and emphasised the need for human beings to unite since the present battle was not between them but against a virus threatening entire humanity.
People must be slow in filing cases of the present nature since such cases could demoralise government machinery and slow down the fight against COVID-19, he said.