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Bombay HC Chides Nagpur Civic Chief For Opposing Safety Tests for Corona Warriors

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Nagpur metropolitan commissioner Tukaram Mundhe has been reprimanded by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court for opposing the demand for corona examination of frontline workers (doctors, health workers, police and others) who are directly involved with the corona infection.

A division bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Amit Borkar has termed this aspect of Mundhe as baseless and contradictory to the constitutional right to “live life and personal liberty”.

In fact, a social organization called Citizens Forum for Equality had raised the issue of corona investigation (RT-PCR) of the frontline worker by filing a PIL in the High Court. Opposing this, the Manpa commissioner argued that the frontline worker had no need for a corona investigation. Conversely, not only will the state government incur additional expenditure, but a lot of manpower of the Manpa will be busy in this work. The frontline workers have been given protective equipments, so there is no need to investigate them. For this argument, the High Court has issued orders to conduct a corona check of the frontline worker in Vidarbha, not only Nagpur, reprimanding the Manpa Commissioner.

The High Court has ordered the state government to conduct a corona check of all hospitals in Vidarbha and frontline workers posted in the restricted area, whether or not they have symptoms of corona. The ICMR has been asked to lay down the necessary policy in a week for corona examination of all frontline workers in Vidarbha. All the responsible officials including the state government, Manpa commissioners, district magistrates have been ordered to conduct a corona investigation of the frontline worker immediately.

The High Court said that the central and state governments have no right to play with the health of the frontline workers fighting the Corona. Their life is precious, because they are our real warriors. Taking social responsibility by risking their lives. In such a situation, it is the responsibility of the government to take care of their health, which cannot be avoided. The government has not been able to record anywhere that there is any shortage of RT-PCR test kits in the world. The ICMR Guidelines do not provide for testing if symptoms do not appear in the frontline worker. Despite this, the state government will have to go further and investigate them.

All the responsible officials, including the state government, Manpa commissioner, district magistrate, should immediately arrange for a corona check of the frontline worker. Also, the ICMR sets the required policy in a week.

-India Legal Bureau

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