A PIL has been filed with the supreme court asking the court to issue guidelines for proper handling and disposal of used face masks which are currently been disposed as business as usual with the other garbage.
The petitioner is a student of NLIU Bhopal, Master Ankit Gupta, who has earlier succeeded in previous PILs on different matters before the high court and district court. He has pleaded that the assessment of the COVID threat led the government to make wearing of face masks mandatory, non-compliance of which has now been made punishable with fine. However with this rule in place the government is yet to clarify how the public is supposed to dispose off these masks.
Earlier the government has issued guidelines for handling of N95 masks by doctors and medical staff but no such guidelines have been issued with respect to public at large who are now regular users of various masks.
He acknowledges in his petition that this poses a great threat of community transmission as the workers of civic agencies who collect domestic waste operate with getting infected with the virus and thus can serve as carriers of the virus in the community which they are contributing.
While talking to Ankit, He added:
“To break the chain of transmission is the key to solving the current COVID-19 crisis and to do that the government has to create awareness how the masks used by the public must be disposed. The first step of creating such awareness is to issue guidelines and that is why I have petitioned before the Supreme Court.”
The guidelines is definitely the need of the hour to enable effective control over the virus and prevent community transmission.