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Karnataka HC wants to know SOPs for disposing of PPEs

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The Karnataka High Court has directed the State government to place before the Court, the guidelines and the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the State for disposal of PPE kits being used in wake of COVID-19.

A division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok Kinagi has directed its registry to place the petition filed by Advocate KB Vijyakumar for hearing along with other petitions filed to ensure availability of medical facilities to patients suffering from Covid-19 in the State.

A petition was filed before the Karnataka High Court to bring to the Court’s attention the inappropriate manner in which the used Personal Protection Equipment(PPEs) are disposed off in the absence of any Standard Operating Procedures either by the Government of India or the Government of Karnataka. It stated that such unhealthy disposal of PPEs increase the risk of infection and impacts negatively on the provisions of Article 21 – Right to Life on the citizens.

According to the petitioner, the number of PPE kits and various other sterile clothes, accessories that have been used till date are huge in number and their inappropriate disposal causes extreme risk to the citizens as the virus is told to be airborne as well. In the absence of any SOPs being defined, the PPE Kits and other accessories are being inappropriately disposed off by the users in a manner they deem fit causing a serious risk for the public.

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The petition prayed for formulation of a Standard Operating Procedure for the appropriate disposal of used PPE Kits and other accessories by health care personnel, sanitary workers in private and public hospitals, ambulance drivers and assistants, people involved in transport and disposal of dead bodies and those at the crematorium / burial grounds, ASHA workers and all involved in some form of Corona Care. The petition also sought issuance of a notification or circular of such Standard Operating Procedure widely publicise it in the media.

-India Legal Bureau

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