The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Monday directed Maharashtra government and other competent authorities to test all frontline workers in Vidarbha region of the state for COVID-19 through reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method.
A bench of Justice RK Deshpande and Justice Amit B Borkar also directed the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to frame appropriate policy and prescribe the protocol for periodical testing of the frontline workers in Vidarbha on the RT-PCR method within a period of one week from June 1.
The court issued the directions after hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO seeking directions to conduct RT-PCR tests on all frontline workers in Vidarbha.
"We hold that all asymptomatic frontline workers... working in the hospitals and the containment zones... in the entire Vidarbha region shall be entitled to be tested for COVID-19 on RT-PCR method on expressing their willingness, if they are found to be in direct and high-risk contact of laboratory-confirmed cases," the court said in its order.
"The State of Maharashtra, the District Collectors or the Commissioners, Municipal Corporations or the Chief Officers, Municipal Councils, or the competent authorities in the entire Vidarbha region are directed to start immediately the testing of the frontline workers on RT-PCR method for COVID-19," the order added.
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