Take effective steps to contain COVID-19 in Andamans: HC to govt

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed the Centre and the Andaman and Nicobar administration to forthwith take all effective steps to ensure non-proliferation of COVID-19 in the islands.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice T B N Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee directed the Centre and the Union Territory administration to take all effective steps to ensure that requisite prudent protocol is put in place to regulate the movement of islanders and any other person permitted to enter into Andaman and Nicobar islands by any mode of transport.

The order came on a plea by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Bar Association president and secretary that the UT administration has adopted dual standards for incoming islanders.

They claimed that while islanders coming by ship would require to undergo quarantine for 14 days, those coming by flights would not be required to remain in quarantine.

The association prayed that all the incoming islanders, irrespective of the mode of transport, should be put in quarantine.

They claimed that the policy of the administration is likely to endanger the islanders and expose every islander to the likelihood of coronavirus infection.

In its order, the bench observed that ensuring a prudent protocol is “necessary for protective management of the possible ramifications of COVID-19 pandemic related issues”.

The court directed the Centre and the UT administration to place a statement on the issues raised by the Bar Association by June 1.

The matter will be taken up for hearing again on June 2, the court directed.