The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and others even in the “non-Covid treatment areas”, reported The Hindu on Tuesday. The order, passed on Monday, found relevance in a petition that said all those working with patients amid a rise in asymptomatic cases should also be protected.

“We direct the Union of India to examine this issue and make necessary suggestions in the ‘Rational Use of Personal Protective Equipment’ guidelines so that PPEs are provided to all health officials, as stated above, who are working in non-covid treatment areas,” the three-judge bench said.

The bench of Justices NV Ramana, BR Gavai and SK Kaul said the top court’s April order on this matter would continue. On April 8, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to make sure that appropriate personal protection equipment, or PPE, were made available for medical personnel combating the coronavirus outbreak across the country. The court had said doctors and medical staff were the “first line of defence of the country” in fighting Covid-19. The court was hearing three petitions seeking protective kits, other requisite equipment and safety measures for doctors and healthcare workers.

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