COVID -19 , A PIL has been recently filed in the Supreme Court seeking issuance of directions to the Union of India to make a representation to the People’s Republic of China & the World Health Organisation (WHO) to get disclosue of relevant information related to Covid 19.
The plea filed by an organisation named “Doctors For You” through Advocate On Record Abhishek Singh (& drawn by Advocates Simar Suri, Aditya Giri, Dipika Jai, ShivaniDewalla), urges that China must make relevant information related to Coronavirus public as the Chinese city of Wuhan was “Ground-Zero” for the deadly contagion.
It read, “this writ petition is being filed urging the upon Indian Government to make a representation to the People’s Republic of China and the WFIO seeking relevant information with regard to origin of Corona Virus at Ground Zero, various matrixes of reproduction rate of virus, its various mutations. Getting this vital information is not a question of delicate diplomatic nuances but a question of life and death”
The plea contended that the virus had put at stake the Right to Life guaranteed by the Indian Constitution and a representation on behalf of India calling for details on the novel virus is pertinent as it will help “Indian medical scientists and doctors to research and have better chances of developing of Antidote”.
The petitioner further avers that this information will be pertinent for the “protection of both life and livelihood”.
The plea contended in the matter of covid 19 that the Government of India is “constitutionally bound” to coordinate with appropriate international authorities and foreign countries for “effective implementation of the Section 35(2)(g) of the Disaster Management Act and to preserve Article 21 in letter and spirit as well as to act in accordance with the Directive Principle of State policy”.
Pointing out sequence of events that led to the outbreak of Coronavirus across the world, petitioner highlightedthat the virus only hit one city in China, after which it was successfully contained.
It noted highlighting covid 19, “Before locking down Chinese authorities allowed 5 million people to leave the city of Wuhan, out of which most people were bound to travel to International destination. By the time WHO finally declared the virus as pandemic on 11.03.2020, it had killed more than 4,000 people and infected more than 1,00,000 people in at least 114 countries around the world.”
In light of COVID 19, the petition also highlights the need to “know the ground facts” related to the origin of the virus and how it jumped to the human population so as to come out with an effective vaccine.
Additionally, the plea asks for a probe by representatives of the most affected countries into China to assess the severity and dynamics of Covid 19 as well as the reason for a delay in notifying the world community of the pandemic and allegedly supporting an “underplay effect of the pandemic statistics”.
The plea stated highlighting covid 19 ,
“WHO by taking a backseat in alerting the world community at large acted in direct contravention of Intemational Health Regulations which state that the organization may in case of a public health emergency without the consent of the host party pass on vital information at its disposal for prevention of a larger harm”
The plea highlights that China has failed to stand by various international tenets including United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, Vienna Conventions on the Law of treaties as well as principles laid down in the Corfu Channel Case (International Court of Justice).
The plea further stated that China in case of covid 19 is under a moral obligation to provide assistance under “Guidance for managing ethical issues in infectious diseases” which requires “rapid data sharing of information related to the novel Corona Virus”.
Read the petition here: