The Supreme Court on March 31 asked the Centre to set up a portal within 24 hours for dissemination of real time information on the coronavirus pandemic to counter the panic being spread through fake news.
The top court, which observed that panic will destroy more lives than the virus, asked the Centre to get trained counsellors and community leaders of all faiths to calm down the migrants, who are kept in shelter homes across the country.
It also asked the Centre to ensure that migration is stopped and to take care of food, shelter, nourishment and medical needs of the people and also to follow up of cases of the virus, also called COVID-19.
The Centre told the apex court that the suggestion to sprinkle water and chemicals on migrants to sanitise them does not work scientifically and is not the right way.
The top court, which refused to restrain the High Courts from taking up the issue of migrants, said they may monitor the issue more closely.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
It however asked the Centre to tell the government lawyers to inform the high courts about the orders passed by the apex court.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, which took up two PILs on the issue of migration through video conference, asked the Centre to look into the letter petitions filed by Kerala MP from Kasaragod constituency Rajmohan Unnithan and one filed by a MP from West Bengal on the issues related to Coronavirus.
The bench asked the Centre to ensure that duties of managing the shelter homes, where migrants are being kept, are entrusted to volunteers and not to the police and there should not be any use of force or intimidation.