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Five Supreme Court judges infected with Swine Flu

Dushyant Dave confirmed that some judges were taken ill in the past few days

Five judges of the Supreme Court have been affected by Swine Flu, caused by the H1N1 virus, the Union Health Ministry confirmed on Tuesday.

“Five judges were kept in home isolation as soon as the infection came to light and, of these, three judges have already resumed their duty; two continue to be under home isolation/observation and are recovering. The court rooms and residences are being sanitised,” a release issued by the Ministry said.

On Tuesday, Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde met with Supreme Court Bar Association president and senior advocate Dushyant Dave to discuss urgent measures to prevent the spread of infection among judges, advocates, staff and litigants.

Mr. Dave later confirmed that some judges had been taken ill in the past few days. He, however, said he did not know their exact number.

Truncated court

The court itself assembled half an hour late on Tuesday. Some of the judges were on leave. Justice Sanjiv Khanna was seen wearing a mask in the courtroom. Justices Hemant Gupta, A.S. Bopanna and Abdul S. Nazeer did not attend court.

The public relations division of the Supreme Court confirmed that some of the judges had been unwell since the past week, but maintained that all of them had recovered fully.

In court, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud expressed concern about the infection spreading. Justice Arun Mishra was heard cautioning people against coming to court if they exhibited traces of infection.

Mr. Dave said the CJI was concerned for the health of lawyers and litigants and informed him that a central government dispensary would be set up immediately to treat the ill. Mr. Dave has also offered to financially help people unable to pay for their treatment.

Preventive measures

The Health Ministry said preventive measures immediately undertaken by the Ministry include the strengthening of the First Aid Post (FAP) of CGHS at the Supreme Court premises and medical attention to judges in accordance with the protocol.

“Prophylactic treatment was also given to all who have come in contact with them including their family members,” noted the Ministry.

A H1N1 sensitisation workshop for lawyers and other staff members will also be conducted.

The statement issued by the Ministry noted that although H1N1 is a seasonal infection which usually occurs every year with two peaks (One in January to March and other between July to September), everyone is requested to take preventive measures such as covering nose and mouth with a tissue/handkerchief while coughing or sneezing; washing hands often with soap and water; avoiding crowded places; avoiding touching ones eyes, nose or mouth; staying away from crowded places if one has cough/cold; drinking plenty of water and sleeping well. People are advised to contact the nearest public health facility in case of any symptoms. 

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:18:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cji-meets-sc-bar-association-president-as-judges-fall-ill-due-to-possible-swine-flu-infection/article30912247.ece

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