What’s the problem with affixing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo on the vaccination certificate, the Kerala High Court asked a petitioner who approached the court with the contention that the PM’s photo on his Covid-19 vaccination certificate was a violation of fundamental rights.
“He is our Prime Minister and not the Prime Minister of the US. Modi came to power with the people’s mandate and not through any shortcuts,” observed Justice PV Kunhikrishnan.
“Why, you are working with an institution named after former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Why are you not taking a stand to remove the name of Nehru from that institution,” the court asked the petitioner who’s working as the state-level master coach of the Jawaharlal Nehru Leadership Institute, New Delhi.
“Modi is our Prime Minister. You may have political differences. But, I can’t understand what is the problem with the Prime Minister’s photo in the certificate?” the court further told the petitioner. The court made the remarks when a petition filed by Peter Mayaliparambil, Kottayam, against depicting PM’s photo in the certificate came up for hearing.
The petitioner argued that the photograph of the Prime Minister has no relevance in a vaccination certificate as can be seen from similar certificates issued by other countries.
“The government messaging and campaigns, especially when it uses government funds, should not personify any leader of a political party. This affects the petitioner’s independent choice of voting, which has been recognised as the essence of the electoral system in People’s Union for Civil Liberties vs Union of India,” the petitioner argued adding that as per the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court for campaigns using public money in Common Cause vs Union of India, no individual can be credited for the launch of an initiative or be celebrated for achievements of a certain policy of the state at government expense.
To this, the court asked, “Why are you ashamed of your Prime Minister? Why are you making such a complaint when around 150 crore people are not raising any voice in this regard?”
The court further asked, “Do you close your eyes when Prime Minister’s visuals appear on television.” He replied, “I can close my eyes while watching TV. But my certificate is my private space.”
The petitioner submitted that he has checked out the certificate issued by several other countries. Not even a single one has the picture of their Prime Minister. The court orally said, “They may not be proud of their Prime Minister. But we are proud of our Prime Minister. Because he became PM through the people’s mandate.”
J&K Logs 5394 new COVID Cases, 8 Deaths; Crosses 4 Lakh mark
Jammu and Kashmir on Monday recorded the highest ever single-day spike of 5394 new COVID-19 cases- 3349 in Kashmir and 2045 in Jammu-even as four new deaths each were reported in Kashmir and Jammu divisions in the last 24 hours.
The case tally has risen to 4,02,596 while the death toll jumped to 4,613-2,360 in Kashmir and 2,253 in Jammu, officials said.
A total of 353374 patients have recovered from the disease so far including the 3643 in the last 24 hours.
Active cases have surged to 44,609-13,542 in Jammu and 31,067 in Kashmir.
Admin issues New Guidelines for Passengers Arriving at J&K
Passengers who have taken both the vaccine doses and come by air, rail and road in the state will no longer have to undergo corona test. However, the passengers will have to show the vaccination certificate for this. The State Executive Committee of the Disaster Management Department, chaired by Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta, took this decision while reviewing the current scenario of Corona in the state.
However, there will be a corona test for passengers with symptoms of Corona. In addition, District Deputy Commissioners have been asked to ensure compliance with COVID protocols in the respective districts. Pregnant women have been allowed to work from home in all offices, apart from ensuring that the employees follow the two-yard distance. Employees with disabilities have also been given the option of working from home.
Restrictions on non-essential movement will continue across the state from 2 pm on Friday to 6 am on Monday. Other points in the manual remain the same as before. In this, provision has been made for online education in educational institutions, and orders have been given to gather only 25 people in indoor and outdoor at one place.
Apart from this, only 25 people can attend a marriage at the banquet hall. In addition, there will be a ban on non-essential movement from 9 pm to 6 am every day.
Over 300 docs, paramedics test positive in Jammu district
Over 300 doctors and the members of paramedical staff of the Health Department, who comprised the COVID-19 sampling teams in different locations in the Jammu district, have contracted the infection.
Officials said that even as the sampling had been intensified with the deployment of over 53 teams by the Health and Medical Education Department across the district, many of the team members who were involved in collecting samples of the suspected COVID patients from different places, also tested positive.
“Over 300 doctors and paramedical staff members of the health department were found infected with the virus,” said a senior official.
“We are deploying doctors and other medical staff in shifts. After seven days of isolation and medical care, the doctors and other members of the staff are joining duties. After they resume, others infected with the virus proceed on leave for seven days,” he added.
“Somehow, we are managing the sampling which is undergoing in an aggressive manner across Jammu district. We have also deployed six teams for thermal screening of the people at the venue of the main Republic Day function,” the official said.
These teams will remain deployed there till January 29. Besides, the official said, “We have deployed 19 teams at Jammu Airport and 24 teams at Railway Station to sample people on their arrival.” “Around 100-150 samples are collected from Jammu airport and 800 from Jammu railway station as a routine exercise,” the official added.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Jammu J P Singh, while speaking to the media, expressed concern over, what he said, “casual approach of the people towards the deadly virus.”
“Despite instructions, they were not reporting to the Chest Disease Hospital at Bakshi Nagar and DRDO Jammu for triage-test,” he said.
“The people with severe illness (comorbidity) and aged having symptoms of COVID19 should come to CD Hospital Bakshi Nagar and DRDO Hospital at Bhagwati Nagar for their medical check-up instead of getting treatment in home isolation,” he said.
He said that the aged and people with comorbidity should approach these hospitals soon after they developed symptoms or they contracted infection so that timely medical care could be provided to them. Another official informed that around 109 infected people were admitted to MCH, DRDO Jammu and GMC Jammu’s COVID care ward. “We have a capacity to admit around 817 infected people in these hospitals and accordingly, the capacity would be increased,” the official said asserting that the majority of the infected people were in home isolation, unlike last year.
Pertinently, the Jammu district has around 59 micro-containment zones while 15 locations were de-notified after the recovery of the infected people.
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