KOCHI: The High Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to consider the request of the state government to conduct RT-PCR tests on returning expatriates in their countries before they board the flights to India. At the same time, the division bench comprising Justice Anu Sivaraman and Justice M R Anitha said the Centre will undoubtedly do so. The bench issued the order on the petition filed by Kochi resident C R Neelakandan seeking a directive to the Centre to take steps to conduct mandatory RT-PCR tests on the returnees before the embarkation process to India.
“The bench has no doubt that the Centre will put in place proper procedure and revise it in a time-bound manner after considering the prevalent situation and taking note of the requests made by individual states, as also the expert medical advice and available relevant data,” the court said. The petitioner contended that lack of testing before boarding posed grave danger. If asymptomatic passengers are permitted to board based solely on an inconclusive temperature test, there is the possibility of the virus being transmitted to other passengers during travel.