Thursday, September 11, 2014

Provide Ebola detection facilities at Pune, Nagpur airports

The Bombay High Court today directed Maharashtra Government to provide medical screening facilities at Pune and Nagpur airports to detect Ebola virus among passengers arriving from affected countries, on the lines of existing amenities at Mumbai and Delhi airports. 
The direction was given by a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka on a PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar alleging that India was not fully equipped to prevent the spread of Ebola. 
The PIL said many persons of Indian origin are leaving African countries due to outbreak of Ebola and returning to India where there are no facilities either to detect or treat the epidemic. 
The Union Government today filed an affidavit saying they had taken adequate precautions at the airports to detect Ebola virus among the passengers, following which the bench expressed that prima facie it was satisfied with the measures undertaken by the Centre. 
The court was informed that the state government had written a letter to the Director of Medical Education and Research requesting them to make necessary arrangements at Pune, Nagpur and other airports to medically screen passengers who come from the affected African countries. 
The Union government has put in place health screening for detection of symptomatic cases. Accordingly, all the travellers who have visited or transited through the affected countries in the last 21 days and have symptoms suggestive of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) are required for mandatory reporting at health counters, the Centre's affidavit said. 
Additionally, health screening is undertaken by the Airport health officials, said the affidavit filed by Dr V L Gokak, Senior Regional Director, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 
In the health screening by airport officials, all the passengers are screened through a thermal scan and digital thermometer to segregate cases of Ebola virus and to isolate, further investigate and treat such high risk cases in a designated facility, the affidavit said.

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