Govt must ‘scrupulously follow’ CPCB guidelines for handling and disposal of Covid-19 waste: Delhi HC

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Published on Dec 08, 2020 12:28 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

The Delhi high court on Monday asked the government to “scrupulously follow” the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for the handling and disposal of waste generated during diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19 patients.

A bench comprising chief justice DN Patel and justice Prateek Jalan said that it expects the Delhi government to follow rules while hearing a plea by a lawyer alleging the improper disposal of used swabs from rapid antigen tests for Covid-19 at the office of the southeast Delhi district magistrate at Lajpat Nagar.

It disposed of the plea by Pankaj Mehta, who had alleged that used swabs were being “thrown out in public” and “tests were being carried out over a pile of used swabs for Covid-19” at the district magistrate’s office.

“Upon complaining about the risk of widespread infection and the irregularity behind disposing of the swabs in this manner, the doctor concerned at the counter said the swabs are of negative patients and thus it is safe to stand over them and get yourself tested,” the plea read.

During the last hearing, the court had sought to know from the Delhi government as to what norms were in place for disposal of the waste. On Monday, advocate Sanjoy Ghose, the additional standing counsel of the government, told the court that there are several protocols in place for the handling and disposal of Covid-19 test kits and swabs and action would be taken against those not following the same.

He also placed on record the “Guidelines for Handling, Treatment, and Disposal of Waste Generated during Treatment/Diagnosis/Quarantine of Covid-19 Patients” issued by the CPCB in July.

Following this, the court said, “We expect the respondents (Delhi government) that the guidelines and protocols shall be scrupulously followed by them”.

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