The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to the states and Union Territories asking how students are being provided their mid-day meals when most of them are shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bar and Bench reported.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde took suo motu cognisance of the matter and directed the states and Union Territories to inform the court about how children are being given their meals in the present situation.
The number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to 147 and three of them have died. The Indian Army has reported its first case of COVID-19 infection on Wednesday, after a soldier from the Ladakh Scouts regiment was placed in an isolation ward.
State governments have stepped up efforts to contain the rapidly-spreading disease – shutting down schools, colleges and public places till March 31 and forbidding large gatherings. With 40 cases, Maharashtra is the worst-hit state.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Tuesday that guidelines for the management of people infected with novel coronavirus have been formed, to define a set of protocols in handling such cases. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told the Rajya Sabha that 54,000 people across the country are being kept under community surveillance with the help of healthcare workers.
The government has also made it mandatory for all hospitals, including government and private ones, and independent medical practitioners to notify suspected COVID-19 cases to the district authorities.
India also extended its ban on flights from foreign countries, adding Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia to the list. The ban will be in force till March 31. The order was issued after the Centre announced that passengers from all 27 European Union countries, all four European Free Trade Association member nations, Turkey and the United Kingdom cannot enter India between March 18 and March 31.