Offload: Delhi High Court tells airlines on passengers not wearing mask

New Delhi: Taking suo moto cognizance on an alarming situation witnessed by a Delhi High Court judge during an Air India flight from Kolkata to New Delhi on March 5, the court on Tuesday issued guidelines for compliance by all airlines, as well as by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Justice C Hari Shankar took suo motu cognizance after noticing that many passengers had worn the masks below their chin and were exhibiting a stubborn reluctance to wear their masks properly.

"On the cabin crew being questioned in this regard, they stated that they had directed all the passengers to wear masks, but were helpless in case they did not comply," the court noted.

Justice Shankar made clear that masks should be worn as directed by governmental instructions, covering the nose and mouth, and not worn merely covering the mouth or below the chin.

"In the event of any passenger being unwilling to follow this protocol prior to the flight taking off, the passenger should be offloaded without delay."

If a passenger, despite being reminded more than once in flight, refuses to follow this protocol, the Court directed that action should be taken against the passenger, including placing the passenger on a "no-fly" regimen, either permanently or for a stipulated, sufficiently long, period.

'Covaxin phase 2 data shows vaccine safe'

India's first indigenous vaccine against COVID-19, Covaxin, is safe and generates immune response without any serious side effects, according to the interim results of the phase 2 trials published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.
The authors of the study noted that the phase 2 results did not assess the efficacy of the vaccine codenamed BBV152.

Developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, the vaccine has been granted emergency use authorisation in clinical trial mode by the Indian government.

Covaxin had initially raised concerns among experts over its emergency approval by India's drug regulator.

New Covid cases cross 2-lakh mark
India on Tuesday crossed the new Covid-19 cases by over 2 lakh in 24 hours. The single day cases recorded at 2,02,850 in 7.48 lakh tests undertaken, the Health Ministry said.
While 22.27 crore people have been tested for the Coronavirus infections, those taking the vaccines till 8 am on Tuesday shot up to 2.30 crore.
Both deaths and the active Covid-19 cases dropped on Tuesday as there were 77 deaths in 24 hours and the active caseload fell by 1295, leaving 1.87 lakh under treatment, which is 1.67% of the total 1.14 crore found infected in the country.

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