Other States

Govt. to test frontline warriors in Nagpur

RT-PCR tests in 2 containment zones

The Maharashtra government has told the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court that it will conduct the RT-PCR test for frontline warriors such as doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, pharmacists and police personnel in two containment zones in Nagpur.

The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test, also called the RT-PCR, is used to detect, track and study the novel coronavirus. A Division Bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Amit Borkar was hearing a public interest litigation filed by an NGO, Citizens Forum for Equality, seeking a direction to start testing all persons attending to COVID-19 patients.

‘Following ICMR norms’

Government pleader S.Y. Deopujari said the district collector and commissioner of police said they will get the tests conducted in Mominpura and Satranjipura.

He said the State is “scrupulously adhering” to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines and every precaution is taken to ensure medical and police personnel who are working in containment zones and high-risk areas are given necessary equipment for self-protection.

Personnel identified

On May 19, the State submitted a report that said the tests would be conducted in phases in areas within containment zones where more than 15 cases have been found. The report said 798 police personnel and 295 medical personnel have been identified.

The advocate for the petitioner said frontline warriors in containment zones, institutional quarantine centres, COVID-19 wards or where they are required to be in close contact with suspected cases, must be treated, without exception, as high-risk contacts.

Earlier, Justice Rohit Deo had said, “In my prima facie view, the medical and police personnel are doing what the bravehearts of the armed forces do day in and day out, that is, answering the call of duty at the risk of falling prey to the deadly virus.” Society and the State owe it to the frontline warriors to take all possible measures to minimise if not obliterate the threat of infection, in case the ICMR guidelines do not cover the frontline warriors till the symptoms are manifested, he said.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 9:28:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/govt-to-test-frontline-warriors-in-nagpur/article31654284.ece

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