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Journos present at HC take COVID test

After a government law officer and a sub-inspector attached to the Esplanade police station situated within the court campus were tested positive for COVID-19, over a dozen journalists covering the proceedings at Madras High Court underwent testing to find out if they have contracted coronavirus.

Journos present at HC take COVID test


Incidentally, no hearing transpired from the court premises on Monday.

In the initial days after the shutdown was announced to control the spread of the pandemic, the hearings were held using Zoom, an internet application. The app enabled as many as 40 persons, including judges, government law officers and petitioners’ counsels, to participate in the proceedings online.

Though this was initially hailed as an innovative solution to deal with the circumstances, there soon were security concerns raised about the app. Due to this, hearing was being conducted through video conferencing. This prompted some of the judges to visit the court after finding that the process was more technically viable from within the court halls. As the hearing was similar to the usual court proceedings, journalists were allowed to cover it.

On April 16, a few of the reporters were present at the court hall while some others remained in the corridors. The journalists had also come in contact with the police official, who was manning the main entry point to the High Court.

As part of contact tracing protocol, the journalists who were present at the court premises in the recent days were identified and tested at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. The results are awaited.

There was panic after the two were tested positive, and the court premises were sanitised by the health workers following this.

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