There was panic at the Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan High Court today after the personal secretary of a High Court judge tested positive for coronavirus. The secretary had come in direct contact with many judges, lawyers and other employees forcing immediate suspension of all work at the court and its closure till further orders.
This is the second time the Jodhpur bench has been forced to suspend work over a coronavirus positive staffer since all Rajasthan courts reopened on June 29. Almost 90 per cent of the 224 employees at the court had skipped the first day after re-opening when two court officials tested positive. Samples of all court employees were taken as they will be now.
Today, a team from the health department was called immediately to trace and conduct tests of all those who had come in contact with the Covid-positive employee.
"An employee of the high court has tested positive and it has been found that he had come in direct contact with many other employees and judges posted here," the order of registrar general Rajinder Kumar said.
The premises was sanitised using a solution of sodium hypochlorite and all lawyers were sent home.
All courts in Rajasthan reopened on June 29, almost three-and-a-half months since they were closed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Covid safety protocols have been put in place for all court activities and hearings have resumed. Only the most important cases were being heard during the various phases of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
All lawyers and staffers above 65 have been told to address the court through video conferencing, and no more than five people are allowed in a court room to check crowding. An e-pass is now compulsory to enter the high courts in Jaipur and Jodhpur and there's a two-layer thermal scanning has been put in place for all lawyers.
There are almost 22,000 cases of Coronavirus in Rajasthan with 4,700 active ones and 482 deaths.