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Delhi HC says BAT for aviation will continue as per DGCA guidelines

ANI | Updated: Sep 13, 2022 03:17 IST

New Delhi [India], Septermber 13 (ANI): Taking note of a plea moved by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Delhi High court said that the conduct of Breath Analyser Test (BAT) for staff of ATC, Commercial pilots, cabin crew, and other staff members shall continue as per the guidelines issued by the DGCA in light of the status of Covid-19 pandemic.
Justice Pratibha M Singh passed this direction on the plea moved by DGCA seeking modification in the order May 11, 2021.
Later, the court granted liberty to DGCA to move an application seeking modification at a later stage.
However, the court, for the time being dispensed its earlier direction mandating only six personnel shall be tested in one hour in view of increase in air traffic and reduction in Covid-19 incidents.
The court while passing the order refused to allow the request to conduct BAT as per pre Covid-19 protocol i.e allowing medical staff to conduct BAT on others in testing area without conducting their own Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).

The court court said, "Doctors and paramedics/nursing personnel ought to be tested on Rapid Antigen Test, prior conducting test on other personnel, as the risk would be high if such such a test is not conducted, and either the doctor or nurse turns out to be Covid-19 positive."
"This is so more because there are chances of such persons being asymptomatic and being unaware if they have contracted the virus," the court further said.
Thus, at this stage , the said test would continue to be mandatory, in terms of order of May 11, 2021, the court said.
These directions are passed on the application of DGCA sought certain modification in the earlier order. It was submitted by the counsel for DGCA that dispensing with the requirements that doctor and any other paramedics/nursing personnel on duty, would take a RAT for Covid-19 prior to joining the duty in the testing area, for administrating BAT and also permit to conduct the BAT test as per pre Covid-19 protocols.
The High Court earlier passed the directions in May 2021 mandating the RAT of the medical staff before conducting BAT for aviation staff including other direction. (ANI)