Friday, May 14, 2021

HC orders rapid antigen test for medicos doing breath analyser tests on aviation personnel

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has directed aviation personnel who need to undergo breath analyser (BA) tests to compulsorily give “a declaration that they have not been exposed to alcohol consumption in the last 12 hours before duty”. And it has asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to do random testing of personnel like air traffic controllers, pilots and cabin crews while capping tests at 5% for flight crew (pilots and cabin crew) for the next three months.

The Air Traffic Controllers Guild (India) and Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) had moved the court seeking suspension of BA tests during the pandemic as using the testing equipment could lead to Covid outbreak among them. Justice Pratibha M Singh of the Delhi High Court decided and the verdict delivered this Tuesday (May 11) has put in place health precautions to conduct these tests on a random basis as “there is no doubt that testing for alcohol cannot be completely exempted as the same could be detrimental to passenger safety.”

Striking a balance between passenger safety by conducting BA tests, Justice Singh has issued a number of directions precautions that need to be taken to keep aviation personnel safe from Covid while conducting these tests.

After the mandatory no-alcohol-consumption declaration is given, the doctors and other medical staff conducting BA tests will undergo rapid antigen tests before joining duty to ensure they do not have Covid and “are also not likely to transmit it, being asymptomatic.”

“DGCA shall direct that BA test at all airports would to the extent feasible be conducted in a much bigger and an open area, which has CCTV coverage and not in a small enclosed space.… This would ensure the exposure of aerosols is also reduced for the personnel, who are tested.”

13/05/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment