The Union Government today told the Bombay High Court that it had installed thermal scanners at the airports in Mumbai, Delhi and elsewhere to find out Ebola-infected passengers among those arriving from Africa.
The court, however, was not satisfied and asked the Centre to file an additional affidavit by September 10 stating if it was screening medically every passenger for the deadly virus, by carrying out a thorough physical examination.
The division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Girish Kulkarni were hearing a public interest litigation filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar alleging that India was not fully equipped to prevent the spread of Ebola.
Tirodkar contended that thermal scanners were not found to be useful during the outbreak of swine flue in 2009 and the authorities had then adopted blood test method, and it should be used this time too.
The government lawyer stated that passengers were being categorised as high risk, medium risk and low risk. Those having fever were put in high risk category, while those who had come in contact with Ebola-hit people in African countries were treated as medium risk people. The third category were those who came from African countries but did not fall in the first two categories.
Tirodkar, however, said even the medium risk people should be put in high risk category.
The court asked the government to inform at next hearing whether this suggestion could be considered.