Imphal: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has directed all the States and Union Territories to comply with the Supreme Court order which banned the use of disinfectant tunnels, chambers to stop the spread of novel coronavirus disease.
Last week, a three-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court ordered the Central government to ban the use of disinfectant tunnels involving spraying or fumigation of chemical /organic disinfectants on human beings noting that they were harmful to the human body.
A Justice Ashok Bhushan led bench also pulled up the central government for the legal vacuum with regard to spraying of such disinfectants and fumigation or use of Ultra Violet rays against the human body underscoring that mere advisories from the government in this regard were not sufficient.
The Bench, which also comprised Justices R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, stated that there is a need for a “regulatory regime” to deal with disinfectant tunnels or chambers and the Central government cannot shirk responsibility by merely stating that the use of such chemicals and disinfectant tunnels is “not recommended”.
The ruling from the top court came on a plea seeking an immediate ban on the use, installation, production or advertisement of disinfectant tunnels set up to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The petitioner, Gurusimran Singh Narula, a final year student from Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, IIT Kharagpur, had argued that the disinfectants that are said to prevent the spread of COVID-19, are, in fact, ineffective and expose people to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
The Central government, in its affidavit, had informed the Supreme Court that the guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has advised against the use of disinfectant tunnels and sprays for people as a measure against COVID-19.
“The Chief Secretary of the states/UTs should ensure compliance of this order by all concerned, violation of which will be treated as an offence under the Disaster Management Act read with the Indian Penal Code, and action taken accordingly against defaulting individuals/institutions/authorities, a statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare said on Friday. With agency inputs