2nd wave ominous, follow COVID norms strictly: HC to parties

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2nd wave ominous, follow COVID norms strictly: HC to parties

2nd wave ominous, follow COVID norms strictly: HC to parties

Expressing concern over the rise of COVID cases in the State, which is threatening to become a second wave of the pandemic, the Madras High Court on Monday urged political parties and candidates to ensure that masks are worn and social distancing is maintained at every gathering without exception.

Disposing of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to prohibit political parties from campaigning to avoid crowds and thus prevent the spread of COVID-19, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy held, “There is no doubt that it is a matter of concern that COVID cases have risen in the recent days and the second wave appears to be in the offing.”

However, noting that since the Assembly election had been notified, the polling for which was scheduled to be held on April 6, the court said the process could not be interfered with at this stage. The Chief Justice then appealed to the political parties to ensure that people wore masks and social distancing norms were adhered to at election meetings and other campaign points where crowds gathered.

The petitioner had submitted that he made a representation to both the State and the Centre on March 2 to stop election campaigning citing the growing number of positive cases. But no action was taken on his petition, forcing him to move the PIL seeking for a necessary direction.

2nd MNM candidate tests +ve

Close on the heels of one of its candidate testing COVID positive, Makkal Needhi Maiam’s yet another candidate, V Ponraj who is contesting from Anna Nagar constituency, tested positive, disrupting his campaigning for the April 6 elections.

Earlier, Dr Santhosh Babu of the Velachery constituency had contracted the virus. “I have been receiving medical treatment for fever and body pain due to incessant sleepless nights and election work for the past four days. Now, I have tested positive for COVID,” Ponraj wrote in his social media post.

2nd wave ominous, follow COVID norms strictly: HC to parties

Ponraj tested positive days after he shared the stage with party founder Kamal Haasan in Coimbatore during the manifesto release last Friday.

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