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Counsel for the state submitted that it had already framed an SOP pertaining to discarding such biomedical waste about a week ago. However, such information was not in the public domain.
The Karnataka High Court today asked the state government to place on record the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in relation to the proper disposal of used Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits and related accessories.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi passed the order in a plea filed by Advocate KB Vijayakumar seeking a disposal mechanism for used PPE Kits.
When the matter came up for hearing, the counsel for the state submitted that it had already framed an SOP pertaining to discarding such biomedical waste about a week ago.
However, Vijayakumar pointed out that such information was not in the public domain. This prompted the Court to direct the state government to place the necessary SOPs on record.
In his plea, Vijayakumar submitted that used PPE kits were being disposed off in the absence of any SOP either by the Government of India or the Government of Karnataka.
Such unhealthy disposal of PPEs not only increase the risk of COVID-19 infection, but also adversely affects and infringes the citizens' right to life, the petition states.
"The World Health Organisation has also not stipulated any SOPs for disposal of PPE Kits and other accessories worn by staff in the hospitals and involved in Corona Care Clinics or elsewhere. Neither has the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India issued any SOPs in this regard. So also the Government of Karnataka."
The plea also raises concern that as the number of COVID-19 cases are increasingly, the State of Karnataka will see an increased number of PPE kits and related accessories.
Under the circumstances, the plea prays for formulation of an SOP for the appropriate disposal of used PPE Kits and other accessories by healthcare personnel, sanitary workers etc.
This apart, the plea also seeks directions to provide such SOP wide publicity for the benefit of the general public.
[Read plea here]