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Doctors file PIL: Ask SC to Direct Government to call upon China to share data on COVID-19 to develop an antidote

The plea stresses that the petitioner is not for encouraging a blame-game, but for ensuring assistance to researchers to come up with an effective antidote against the virus.

Shruti Mahajan

A PIL has been moved by Doctors' organization, Doctors For You in the Supreme Court urging it to direct the Government of India to make a representation to China and seek information on COVID-19 to facilitate the development of an effective antidote for the same.

The PIL notes that while the pandemic put the lives of all the people around the world at stake, China was successful in controlling and restricting the virus to the Central city of Wuhan. This allowed the authorities to direct for reopening of the wet markets based on certain statistics and indicators.

In light of this, the PIL says that the government of India needs to make a representation to China and call upon this neighbouring nation to share the epidemiology, evolution, clinical data and full data on COVID-19 as well as the indicators and statistics.

The plea stresses that the petitioner is not for encouraging a blame-game, but for ensuring assistance to researchers to come up with an effective antidote against the virus.

As such, the plea prays that the Indian government be directed to call upon China to allow a probe by representatives of the most affected countries to assess the severity of the pandemic.

Diplomatic channels should be used to find out the RNA sequence of various strains and mutations found by China in the vicinity of Wuhan, where the COVID-19 disease is said to have originated from, the plea adds.

The plea points out that while the pandemic has brought the entire world to its knees and consequent lockdowns in various countries have hit the global economy hard, there is no cure or solution in sight yet.

In this regard, it is also noted that the discussion on developing an effective vaccine soon turned into a discussion around how the world will have to live with the coronavirus and how there can be no effective vaccine in the near future.

Considering that this is a lethal disease for those with underlying medical conditions, and is likely to affect almost 70 per cent of the entire population in due course of time, the petitioner organization has said that assessing reports from ground zero, Wuhan in this case, becomes pertinent.

"This knowledge is necessary to develop an effective vaccine for Corona Virus including its various mutations. It is also necessary to study as to how the virus jumped species and affected human population. The study of ground zero is also imperative to understand the cause of the spread of the virus and develop eff'ective ways to prevent the spread of similar diseases in the future."
the petition states.

The petition also adds that the integrity of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is alleged to have been compromised, given that the body was very late in notifying the world of the dangers of COVID-19.

The USA has directed for a freeze on its funding to the WHO on account of possibility that the organization is not independent of China's influence, it is noted. Owing to all these issues, relevant information may not be available to India in the near future, the petitioner apprehends.

It goes on to add that the WHO should also be called out by the Indian Dovernment for its delay in notifying the global community of the severity of COVID-19 and declaring it as a pandemic, while urging for a probe to be conducted.

The virus has the potential to wipe out the human race completely from the face of the planet if it is not checked and contained, the petition says, pointing at the second wave of the pandemic hitting some countries already. In this background, "Doctors For You" has moved the Supreme Court.

The petition has been drawn by Advocates Simar Suri, Aditya Giri, Dipika Jain, and Shivani Dewalla. Senior Advocate Rupinder Singh Suri settled this petition. It was filed through Advocate Abhishek Singh.

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