The Karnataka High Court on Thursday asked the state government to persuade people residing in thickly populated areas including slums to get vaccinated. A bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar said that the state government should make special efforts to persuade citizens in such densely populated areas as it is a matter of right to life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
"There are a large number of slum areas and shanties which includes workers on construction sites...Question is whether the state should make special efforts to persuade citizens in thickly populated areas who are vulnerable to the COVID-19 to take the vaccine. Perhaps, this will be a measure in curbing the spread of COVID-19," the order said, according to Bar and Bench.
The High Court was hearing a suo motu case registered after it received two letters highlighting the struggles of COVID-19 patients in the state. In the hearing on Thursday, the court said that the state must ensure that the vaccination drive underway in the country should also reach slums and densely populated regions.
Additional Advocate General Dhyan Chinappa said that the availability of vaccines and the number of people to be vaccinated is a factor in providing vaccination. COVID-19 infections were previously reported among metro construction workers in Bengaluru in 2020. The High Court also asked the state government to place on record the measures taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus after a surge in cases this month.
The Karnataka government has also issued an order barring public celebrations, gatherings or congregations during the coming festivals like Ugadi, Holi, Shab-e-Barat and Good Friday following a spike in COVID-19 cases. The state recorded 2,523 fresh cases of coronavirus on Thursday, the third consecutive day the number of cases remained over 2,000