PIL Filed in Karnataka HC Against Company Allegedly Responsible for Community Spread of COVID-19

A Public Interest Litigation(PIL) has been filed in the Karnataka High Court against Jubilant Generics Limited, where over 27 of its workers with no travel history tested positive for COVID-19. This is one of the first community spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state. Therefore, the petitioner asserts that the plant was shut down and over 1,000 employees are under quarantine. The application is to be taken up for hearing on April 13.

“….due to careless/negligent handling of the situation by the owner of the said company the COVID-19 had spread to various parts of the Mysuru District as well as other parts of the Karnataka State..” the petition said. “Besides, the virus can not survive for more than 72 hours on any surface. It would be premature for any conclusions to be made on the role of raw material in the spread of the virus.” Jubilant added.

On March 26, an employee (Patient No. 52) of the pharma company tested positive for COVID-19. He did not have any travel history nor was he a secondary contact. Soon after more than 20 people, who were either employees or their relatives, tested positive. This number was 27 as of April 6. Jubilant said the employee had stopped coming to the plant after March 20.

The company had reportedly imported chemicals from China when the outbreak was at its peak. Chemicals arrived at Nanjangud via air-conditioned container trucks. Thus, the petition alleges that the chemical imports are the root cause of the community spread in Mysuru. The petitioner, Geeta Mishra, has also brought this to the notice to Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka and Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Rural and Mysuru.