SC notice on plea to screen travellers from Ebola-affected areas

SC notice on plea to screen travellers from Ebola-affected areas

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the central government on a PIL seeking direction that passengers coming on international flights from Ebola-affected countries in African be screened to ensure that they are free of deadly virus.

A bench of Chief Justice R.M.Lodha, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman was urged for direction that the government should take immediate steps for the screening of passengers on the flights from affected countries and to take adequate steps to prevent and cure the deadly epidemic.

Petitioner Vineet Dhanda also sought putting in place all the facilities at the airports to isolate and treat the possibly-affected travellers from these countries to avoid infection,

He also sought the direction that the central as well as the Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Delhi governments to take steps to maximise the spread of information about deadly epidemic to create awareness throughout the country.

Dhanda, in his PIL, told the court that the epidemic has been declared as Global Health Emergency by the World Health Organisation, as the outbreak of virus is moving faster than it can be controlled.

The virus has mainly spread to the countries like Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and a few other countries in west Africa where 45,000 Indians are living, it said.

Fearing for their lives, Indians from these countries have started rushing back to India, he said, expressing apprehension of the possibility of these people being infested with the deadly virus and sneak into the country without being screened by the expert health personnel at the airports.

Pointing out that about 1,500 people have died after being affected by Ebola, the petitioner said: “International passengers are travelling to India from these Ebola-affected nations and no check whatsoever is being done by the government authorities to properly screen the passengers of possible virus infection.”

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