Amid an exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, the Supreme Court has urged the Centre and states to consider imposing a lockdown to break the chain in the interest of public welfare.

It also directed the central government to revisit its initiatives and protocols, including the availability of oxygen, availability and pricing of vaccines, and availability of essential drugs at affordable prices.

Moreover, the top court asked the Centre to formulate within two weeks a national policy on admissions to hospitals in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19 and said no patient shall be denied hospitalisation or essential drugs in any state for lack of local residential proof.

The Supreme Court’s observation comes as India continues to reel under the second wave of coronavirus. The country has been recording over 3 lakh cases for past few weeks.

In the last 24 hours, the country has reported over 3.68 fresh COVID-19 cases.