The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the Centre, Delhi government and others to treat as representation a plea cautioning against the risk of airborne spread of COVID-19 infection in closed spaces having air conditioning with no ventilation.
A Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Singh directed that the representation be decided as per the law and policy by the two governments, Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, Delhi Development Authority, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Bureau of Indian Standards and Central Public Works Department as expeditiously as possible and practicable.
The court said that since the issue has to be considered by an expert body and required formulation of a policy, it "deemed it appropriate" to refer it to the respondent authorities".
"It is a larger issue. Your case is genuine. Have you gone to the government? We are giving them direction to decide," said CJ Patel.
Appearing for the petitioner Raja Singh, advocate KC Mittal argued that even though the COVID-19 virus "spreads like anything" in air-conditioning, no steps were taken by the authorities in this regard.
He urged the court to intervene before the third wave of COVID-19.
In his petition filed through advocates Yugansh Mittal and Amit Shahi, Singh claimed that fresh air changes should be provided in buildings having air conditioning to reduce the threat of COVID-19 virus spreading through airborne route.
"...dilution ventilation diffuses the concentration of the droplets as such minimizing the probability of infection. It is stated that the dilution of air is easiest in open air," the petition reads.
The plea added that ventilation and using air conditioners with open windows or proper dilution ventilation may serve as a game-changer.
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