Consider providing PPEs to all health workers: SC

Coronavirus: Consider providing PPEs to all health workers, SC tells Centre

Plea claims rise of asymptomatic patients 

Supreme Court of India. (Credit: PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to consider making available personal protection equipment (PPE) to all health workers engaged in non-COVID-19 treatment as asymptomatic patients of the viral disease are reported to be on the rise in the country.

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A bench of Justices N V Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and B R Gavai passed this direction on April 27 on a PIL by a Nagpur-based doctor Jerryl Banait.

Led by advocate Astha Sharma, the petitioner sought a direction for providing PPEs to all health workers, including doctors, nurses, ward boys, other medical and paramedical professionals due to rise of COVID-19 infection from asymptomatic patients.

"We find substance in the suggestions made by the applicant," the bench said.

The court directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to examine the issue and make necessary changes in the "Rational Use of Personal Protective Equipment" guidelines so that PPEs were provided to all health officials, who were working in non-COVID-19 treatment areas.

Acting on a batch of PILs including this one, the top court had on April 8 directed the Centre to ensure full protection to doctors and health workers, who were acting as "warriors" and "first line of defence in the country" in the fight against coronavirus.

Observing that the pandemic, engulfing the entire country, is a national calamity, the top court said all citizens of the country have to act in a responsible manner to extend helping hand to the government and medical staff to perform their duties to contain and combat the COVID-19, it noted.