THE Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench on Tuesday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to prohibit the State Government from spraying sodium Hypochlorite as disinfectants on human beings or any other living being.
The PIL alleged the non-compliance of the advisory issued by the Central Government on April 19 against the spraying of disinfectant on people for COVID-19 management.
In his PIL, advocate Prince Lenin submitted that “on March 29 at District Bareli, several persons (Labors) comprising of men, women, old person and young children were subjected to spraying Sodium Hypochlorite in the name of killing coronavirus which might be present in their body”.
“That again on 05.05.2020 several labours who were coming from other places were subjected to spray of sodium Hypochlorite at Charbagh Lucknow”, the PIL alleged.
Counsel for the Uttar Pradesh Government told the court that all guidelines issued by Government of India in the matter in issue to prevent the spreading of coronavirus are being followed. He further said that the assertions as made in the petition on the basis of which prayers have been made is wholly misconceived and wrong.
The court, however, asked the government to file a counter affidavit within 4 weeks. And ordered to list the petition thereafter.
The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on April 19 had issued an advisory to all the States/Union Territories against the spraying of disinfectant on people for COVID-19 management. The advisory said:
- Spraying of individuals or groups is NOT recommended under any circumstances. Spraying an individual or group with chemical disinfectants is physically and psychologically harmful.
- Even if a person is potentially exposed to the COVID-19 virus, spraying the external part of the body does not kill the virus that has entered your body. Also, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that they are effective even in disinfecting the outer clothing/body in an effective manner
- Spraying of chlorine on individuals can lead to irritation of eyes and skin and potentially gastrointestinal effects such as nausea and vomiting. Inhalation of sodium hypochlorite can lead to irritation of mucous membranes to the nose, throat, respiratory tract and may also cause bronchospasm
- Additionally, the use of such measures may in fact lead to a false sense of disinfection & safety and actually hamper public observance to hand washing and social distancing measures.
Read the order here: