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HC directs Centre to obtain experts’ opinion on handling int’l passengers

The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to take experts’ opinion on the need to quarantine all international passengers landing in India to prevent the spread of the UK virus variant.

HC directs Centre to obtain experts’ opinion on handling int’l passengers


The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy offered the direction on accounting for the petitioner’s submission about the ‘tail-chasing method’ adopted to track SARS COVID-2 will not work and instead, result in a larger spread.

The petitioner’s counsel on citing the instance of a woman, who landed in Tamil Nadu and tested positive for the new variant in Andhra Pradesh, said if a passenger is infected with the new strain and is allowed to go as done earlier would result in the unchecked spread of the new variant.

However, the Chief Justice on pointing out that what is known of the UK variant is that it is more infectious and would easily spread than the original virus, said “We do not want to add to the confusion. We preface by saying, we are not experts.”

Thereafter, directing the Additional Solicitor General to ask the Centre to consult experts and get back to them, the bench said “Certain genuine concerns have been indicated in the petition on the surveillance of co-passengers accompanying a passenger bearing the new strain. It is imperative that the union takes the concerns indicated in the petition seriously and obtains expert advice to ensure further spread is averted.”

The bench then posed the matter to January 18 to indicate the measures put in place by then.

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