The Delhi High Court while disposing of a PIL said it that requires the AAP government to “scrupulously follow” the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for handling and disposal of waste generated during diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by Pankaj Mehta, alleging that tgr used swabs were being “thrown out in public” and “tests were being carried out over a pile of used swabs for COVID-19” at the district magistrate’s office.
He further alleged that “upon complaining about the risk of widespread infection and the irregularity behind disposing off the swabs in this manner, the doctor concerned at the counter said the swabs are of negative patients and thus it is safe to stand over them and get yourself tested.”
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had issued various guidelines for ‘Handling, Treatment, and Disposal of Waste Generated during Treatment/Diagnosis/Quarantine of COVID-19 Patients’ in July, 2020.
The observation by a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan came after the Delhi government said protocols are already in place for handling and disposal of COVID-19 test kits and swabs and action would be taken against those who are not following the same.
The bench noted the submissions made by Delhi government additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose and advocate Naman Jain and stated that: “We expect the respondents (Delhi government) that the guidelines and protocols shall be scrupulously followed by them”.
With the observation, the bench disposed of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a lawyer alleging improper disposal of used swabs from rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 at the office of the southeast Delhi district magistrate at Lajpat Nagar.