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[COVID 19] Kerala HC Suspends Breath Analyzer Tests In Airports [Read Order]

19 March 2020 3:39 AM GMT
[COVID 19] Kerala HC Suspends Breath Analyzer Tests In Airports [Read Order]
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The Kerala High Court has suspended the breath analyser test conducted as per the DGCA directions for the time being in the Airports in Kerala in view of the COVID-19 virus.

The interim order was passed while admitting the writ petitions filed by employees of Airport Authority of India, Cochin, Calicut and Trivandrum International Airport who had challenged the DGCA order to undergo mandatory Breath analyser examination.

The petitioners contended that mandatory Breath analyser test violates their fundamental right to life. It was pointed out that the DGCA earlier suspended the breath analyser test during the month of February due to corona outbreak and that even Airport Authority of India has issued circular exempting employees from biometric attendance marking due to possibility of transmission of virus.

The petitioners submitted that normal procedure of breath analyser examination in airport is in such a manner that employees perform this examination one after the other using only one apparatus. "This single apparatus is never sanitized or sterilized after each use. Suppose a ground staff who closely interact with the aircraft and passengers is a carrier of COVID19 (dormant stage) who in turn appears for breath analyser examination, she or he can transmit the virus to the Petitioner or other staffs who is next in queue for the test by the usage of infected apparatus.", they stated. The petitioners seek suspension of such tests till the Country is officially declared as free from COVID-19 virus.

Justice Anu Sivaraman, directed the suspension of breath analyzer tests in Airports while issuing notice to the official respondents. The case is posted for further consideration today. 

Adv. Leo Lukose and Adv. Amal Amir Ali represented the petitioners. 

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