KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Tuesday registered a suo motu case after noticing media reports on crowding at vaccination centres and asked the central and state governments to respond by Friday so that citizens’ fear about non-availability of vaccines would subside.
A division bench led by justice Devan Ramachandran said in an interim order, “It does not require for us to expiate that if uncontrolled gathering is permitted in the vaccination centres, the very purpose of vaccination would boomerang, since what is intended to be prophylactic exercise would perhaps become a super-spreader event of the pandemic infection.” The court directed the state police chief to ensure that crowding is prevented at the centres, without using force.
State attorney KV Sohan submitted that the government has stopped spot registration and is now focusing on citizens requiring second dose. The government has requested 25 lakh doses of Covaxin and 75 lakh doses of Covishield have been requisitioned from the Central government, the court was told.
In the order, the court noted that the primary reason why people crowd at vaccination centres is because of the impression that vaccines are not available. “We must say that this impression appears to be gathering momentum by the day,” the court said.
“We, therefore, deem it appropriate to initiate suo motu action with all necessary stakeholders on the fray, so that the apprehensions of the citizens of this State can be allayed as regards the availability of vaccines and their chances of being vaccinated, both the first dose and the second dose.” The court has asked the central and state governments to inform it about the steps taken by May 7.