Rashid Paul

HC asks govt for methodology for COVID-19 testing in J&K

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On reports of central forces’ personnel performing duties despite testing corona positive …

Srinagar: Taking cognizance of the reports of central security forces’ personnel performing their duties in Jammu and Kashmir despite being confirmed positive for coronavirus infection, the J&K High Court today directed the government to place before it the record pertaining to methodology for COVID-19 testing in the union territory.

The court issued notice to the Secretary, Health and Medical Education department, Jammu and Kashmir.

A division bench directed the officer “to place on record, in tabulation, the manner in which samples for COVID-19 testing are being collected, the manner and the time taken for transporting them to the laboratories for testing, and the schedule on which test reports are obtained.”

It further directed that the report in this regard be placed before court before the next date of hearing, which is scheduled on June 10, 2020.

The direction followed a report that some security forces’ personnel were deployed in different areas of J&K despite having been tested positive for coronavirus infection.

The court took cognizance of the report and registered it as a Public Interest Litigation.

According to the report referred to by the court, some of the personnel who were tested and found infected with the killer virus were deployed, and were discharging their functions in the centrally administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

It said “a police constable of the 19th Battalion of the Indian Reserve Police was on duty at Lakhanpur in Kathua district after his sample had been taken for COVID-19 testing.”

It also referred to another instance where “a Border Security Force constable and an Army jawan were also performing their duties” despite samples had been taken from them to confirm their infection of the deadly virus.

The report discloses the (extended) time gap between the taking of samples for COVID-19 testing and the receipt of the test reports.

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