The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday gave a nod to turning three- and four-star hotels into ‘quarantine centres’ where the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has planned to keep coronavirus patients.

Last month the NDMA had proposed to the government that the hotels in all major cities across Pakistan be converted into quarantine centres for suspected and confirmed coronavirus cases. Later with the federal government consent, the NDMA also issued directives to the management of different hotels on March 16 and March 28, to vacate the premises for the purpose. The NDMA order to vacate the hotels was however challenged by three-star Hotel Margalla, situated in Islamabad.

Court’s Verdict

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that the federal government had taken several measures to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus. The measures taken by the federal government and the NDMA were obviously to safeguard the public at large and their fundamental rights. The chief justice observed that since it was an extraordinary situation and it was settled law that the interest of public at large prevailed over individual rights.


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