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The Court has ordered the State to ensure that the identity of COVID-19 patients are not disclosed or publicised in intra-departmental communications or on any media platform including social media.
The Orissa High Court has issued notice to the State on finding that the identities of COVID-19 patients were being disclosed in intra-departmental communications and to various media platforms, contrary to the advisory issued by the Government of India in this behalf. (Orissa High Court order)
This was brought to the Courts attention by way of a PIL preferred by Ananga Kumar Otta. Otta has alleged that in several cases, the identity of persons who tested positive to COVID-19 in Orissa and who were under treatment (in Government or Private Hospitals) or were under quarantine, were disclosed.
A Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice BR Sarangi has now directed the State to ensure that the identity of any person, who is admitted or found infected with COVID-19 is not disclosed in any manner on any platform.
The Court also recorded the assurance given by Advocate General AK Parija that necessary steps will be taken to ensure the compliance of the guidelines issued by the Government of India and the Court's directive on the issue.
The matter will be next heard on June 4.