The Allahabad High Court has taken suo moto cognizance on the probable spread of Corona Virus through Hookah/s served at various restaurant, cafes, etc.A bench comprised of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh has asked the State Government to show cause why the Hookah service should not be stopped.
The bench has taken cognizance based on a letter petition sent by one Hari Govind Dubey, law student from the Lucknow University, urging the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Chief Secretary of the state, Director General of Police, Police Commissioner, Lucknow and District Magistrate, Lucknow, to restrict serving of Hookah/s in restaurants, cafes etc., with immediate effect till the pandemic situation subsides.
Dubey had asserted that since the corona virus spreads through mouth/ nose contact, consumption of hookah by a group of people by putting its pipe in their mouth repeatedly, enhances the risk of community spread.
“No matter how many restaurants/ cafes claim that they clean the hookah using sanitizer and provide filters to the hookah drinkers, the reality is that the customers consume hookah in the group and no matter how much caution is exercised, communication of the virus cannot be stopped,” he wrote.
The situation becomes intense, he said, since many cases of coronavirus are asymptomatic and infected persons do not show any symptom in the initial 2-4 days. Thus even if a person’s temperature may appear to be normal when tested at the restaurant entry, he may be infected.
Treating the letter as a PIL, the Court has asked the Government to respond on the petition by August 6, 2020.