Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Anil Kumar and Saurabh Lavania, JJ. addressing a concerned with regard to spraying of Sodium Hypochlorite on human beings, State of U.P. sought time to file counter-affidavit.

Petitioner sought relief for the following through the present petition:

  • Issue a writ, order or command in the nature of Mandamus thereby directing the OP 1 to ensure compliance of advisory issued by MoHFW regarding prohibition of Sodium Hypochlorite spray on human beings or any other living being.

Petitioner’s counsel relied on following with regard to use of Sodium Hypochlorite:

Wear protective gloves/ protective clothing/eye protection/ face protection.

In case of ingestion, Inhalation, skin contact or eye contact, Poison Centre or doctor/physician to be immediately contacted.

On contact of Sodium Hypochlorite person can suffer burns by all exposure routes.

“…it is evident that from no stretch of imagination Sodium Hypochlorite can be used in any form for spraying it over a human being or any animal for any purpose, be it whatsoever.”

It has been stated that on 23rd March, 2020 a cleaning staff lost his lie in U.P. while spraying the disinfectant in order to prevent coronavirus as he was spraying the disinfectant without any proper preventive kit.

On 29th March, 2020, at District Bareli several persons comprising of men, women , old person and young children were subjected to spraying Sodium Hypochlorite in the name of killing corona virus which might be present in their body. It is also necessary to point out that the aforesaid inhuman act of spraying Sodium Hypochlorite caused severe panic and ill effects over the body of the men, women, old persons and children.

Again an incident has been highlighted wherein several labor were subjected to spray of sodium Hypochlorite at Charbagh Lucknow.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also in its guidelines issued that spraying of individuals or groups is NOT RECOMMENDED under any circumstances.

For the said matter, respondents counsel sought 4 weeks time to file a counter-affidavit. [Prince Lennin v. State of U.P., 2020 SCC OnLine All 593 , decided on 19-05-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has received many queries regarding the efficacy (if any) of use disinfectants such as Sodium hypochlorite spray used over the individuals to disinfect them.
The strategy seems to have gained of lot of media attention and is also being reportedly used at local levels in certain districts/local bodies.
Purpose of the document
To examine the merit of using disinfectants as spray over human body to disinfect them from COVID-19 and to provide appropriate advisory.
Disinfectants are chemicals that destroy disease causing pathogens or other harmful microorganisms. It refers to substances applied on inanimate objects owing to their strong chemical properties.
Chemical disinfectants are recommended for cleaning and disinfection only of frequently touched areas/surfaces by those who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. Precautionary measures are to be adopted while using disinfectants for cleaning – like wearing gloves during disinfection.
In view of the above, the following advisory is issued:
• 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 with 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 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.

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

[Advisory dt. 19-04-2020]