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In a May 26 meeting, the committee had suggested that viral transmission on flights could be prevented if passengers occupying middle seats wore protective suits/gown to minimise transmission through inadvertent touch.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday sought clarification from an Expert Committee created to review and strengthen safe air travel protocols as to whether the mere touch of a person carrying COVID-19 virus could transmit the virus to a person so touched. (Deven Yogesh Kanani v DGCA and Ors)
The order passed by the Bench Justices SJ Kathawalla and Surendra P Tavade states,
Last month, the High Court had asked Air India to respond to a plea claiming that the airline violated DGCA guidelines requiring that a vacant flight seat should be maintained between two passengers, as a social distancing measure to guard against COVID-19.
The Expert Committee formed under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, Civil Aviation, held a meeting on May 26 to review these protocols in the interest of public health and safety.
In their submissions on Thursday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta along with Additional Solicitor General Anil C Singh relied on the minutes of the expert committee meeting, highlighting various suggestions including those to provide a protective suit to prevent the spread of virus either by droplets or by touch.
While taking note of the suggestions made by the committee, the High Court has now sought clarification on whether the virus can be spread by mere touch.
The matter will be taken up next on June 5 at 3 pm.