Name patients for others’ safety, PIL urges HCUpdated: Jul 10, 2020 00:32 IST
A student of the Government Law College at Mumbai and a farmer from Solapur district have moved the Bombay high court (HC) seeking direction to the authorities to disclose identities of Covid-19 patients “so that others who have come in their contact can take appropriate precautionary steps to protect themselves from the deadly virus”.
The PIL filed by law student Vaishnavi Gholave and agriculturist Mahesh Gadekar is likely to come up for hearing on Friday.
In the PIL filed through advocate Vinod Sangvikar they have contended that many a times the people infected with Covid-19 are unable to recognise and give complete information of the people who had come into their contact, because of which not all suspects could be traced and treated in time.
They have cited the example of a meat seller from Murali Peth in Solapur who tested positive and it was reported that around 1,000 people had come in contact with him. “But the meat seller did not know the names of all his customers. He did not know where they lived,” said the PIL.
It said that since there are around 25 meat sellers in Murarji Peth and the name of the infected meat seller was not disclosed, people did not know whether they had been exposed to the virus, thus failing to take precautionary measures.
The petitioners added that when there is such a serious risk to the community at large, it is necessary to disclose names of patients so that the people who came in contact with them are aware and can come forward to take appropriate precautions; first, by isolating themselves and thereby preventing further spread, and secondly, by immediately taking treatment.
The PIL said that while the number of Covid-19 patients is increasing rapidly in Maharashtra, the government has maintained it has not so far reached the third stage of large-scale community spread where the source of the infection becomes untraceable and the spread becomes extremely contagious and difficult to control, and added that “if we continue to maintain secrecy about the identity of the patients we will soon reach that stage too”.