All airports have equipment to detect Ebola: Govt tells HC
Mumbai: The Union government has informed the Bombay High Court that all international airports in the country have been provided with thermal image scanners to detect the presence of ‘Ebola’ virus among passengers coming from African countries.
All the airports, including Pune and Nagpur airports where international flights land, have been provided with scanners to screen passengers for a possible Ebola infection, government counsel Rui Rodriges told the court on October 14.
Taking his statement on record, a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka disposed of a Public Interest Litigation filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar alleging that India was not fully equipped to prevent the spread of the dreaded Ebola.
Dr V L Gokak, Senior Regional Director, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, submitted a compliance report to the court assuring that all the international airports in India are fully equipped to detect Ebola virus among passengers who come from African countries.
In the event of any passenger carrying Ebola virus is detected, such a person would be quarantined in a hospital, the government told the court.
In September, the court had asked Maharashtra government to provide medical screening facilities at Pune and Nagpur airports, on the lines of such facilities in Mumbai and Delhi.
The state government had said in an affidavit that the Centre had not provided scanners for Nagpur and Pune. The High Court then asked the Centre to provide the equipment as soon as possible.
The Central government counsel said that “adequate” screening measures were in place at ports and airports.
Tirodkar’s PIL alleged that several Indians or NRIs in Africa were returning due to the outbreak of Ebola in the continent, but there are no facilities either to detect or treat the epidemic in India.