The coronavirus outbreak has taken place because it is "Kaalyug" and so fighting it is a tall order, a judge of the Supreme Court said today, pointing to the global pandemic that has infected more than 168,000 people and killed more than 6,600 people, confined millions to their homes practically brought life to a standstill in hundreds of cities.
Responding to a lawyer's query about carrying out hearings in only the most important cases, Justice Arun Mishra said: "These mahamari (epidemic) happening in every 100 years. Ghor kalyug mein virus se hum fight nahi kar sakte (We can't fight a virus in this kaalyug)".
"See the frailty of humans. You may do anything and everything, you may devise all weapons. But, you can't fight this virus. We have to fight this at our own level," Justice Mishra said.
The top court, after a meeting last week, had decided to hear only the most urgent cases.
Only 6 benches are sitting instead of the usual 15. Only six or seven cases are being heard in each court. Today, the court said that going forward, only four benches will be functioning.
As additional precautionary measures, visitors are not being allowed, rigorous checking, including thermal screening, is being done and canteens have been shut.
"The best statement so far is everybody should fight it, not only the government. If we fight is at our own level we can overcome it. You have to fight for yourself not anyone else," Justice Mishra said.
Social distancing has been adopted as one of the key methods to break the chain of infection that started in China's Wuhan city in December and then spread across the world. In India, the number of coronavirus cases have touched 142, three people have died.
The World Health Organisation has praised India's commitment to combat the novel coronavirus. "I think the commitment of the Indian government from the top level -- the Prime Minister's office himself -- has been enormous, very impressive. This is one of the reasons why India is doing very well," said Henk Bekedam, the WHO Representative to India.