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COVID-19: Delhi HC to hear plea raising questions over centrally air-conditioned buildings, including courts

ANI | Updated: Apr 24, 2020 10:44 IST

New Delhi [India], April 24 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday will hear an urgent application moved by BCD Chairman KC Mittal raising questions over buildings which are centrally air-conditioned, including the Delhi High court building and other subordinate court buildings, stating that there is "very obvious" possibility of COVID-19 spreading due to it.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice of Delhi DN Patel and Justice C Harishankar will hear this instant application today seeking urgent directions of the Court in light of the circumstances prevailing due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 in the country, including Delhi.
"In view of the virulent nature of the infection, the seriousness of the illness caused by COVID-19 and the very obvious possibility of the centrally air conditioning units of the High Court and Courts subordinate thereto (indeed all centrally air conditioned buildings), spreading the infection," read the application.

The plea seeks issuance of notice to the Public Works Department, Government of NCT of Delhi and other concerned authorities. It also seeks a Committee of experts to be set up to examine the problem and suggest technical solutions thereto, including, but not limited to implanting ultraviolet disinfectant units into the air circulation system of the air conditioning set up in the High Court.
The plea is also seeking the issuing of directions to the respondents to take all necessary steps and precautions to ensure that no centrally air-conditioned buildings may be put to use without adequate measures and precautions being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"In times of epidemics and viral infection, centrally air-conditioned but can inadvertently act as massive catalysts to further the spread of virus or other infections, notably, air/aerosol borne infections. This will add to an unprecedented crisis being faced. COVID-19 infection is highly communicable. The scientific evidence available so far suggests that it is communicated through contact with droplet infection from an infected subject to an non-infected one," read the plea.
"Most importantly a portion of the cough, sneeze or tear dispersal of an infected person would be in aerosol form. It is with this aerosol dispersal of infection, that the applicant is concerned, as the same can be picked, ingested and circulated by the central air-conditioning installed in the Delhi High Court. It may kindly be considered that droplet infection can be dealt with relatively easily by process of spray sterilization but once aerosol infection enters the air ducts of the central air-conditioning system, the same could potentially infect, quite literally, dozens if not hundred of person present in the High Court," it said. (ANI)