Coronavirus threat: Chandigarh activists request UT administration to suspend use of breath analysers

Activists and members of the Resident Welfare Associations wrote a letter to the UT Administration to suspend the use of breath analysers to detect drunk drivers at nakas in the wake of coronavirus infection.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Traffic Shashank Anand said that they too have received a similar request and are consulting medical experts in this regard.

Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, SSP Traffic Shashank Anand said, “Even though we have contactless breath analysers which helps in prima facie detection of alcohol and our operators use new pipes everytime, we are consulting medical experts regarding the request.”

In one of the letters to UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore, social activist Ajay Jagga said, “In view of the threat of novel coronavirus outspread, the traffic police should be instructed to consider to suspend the use of breath analysers to detect drunken driving. The use of breath analysers could spread the virus, as it spreads through coughing, sneezing or touching an infected person.”

Jagga specified that the “Food department should ensure that potable water is being used by all eateries, including all the booths like Sector 8 inner market”.

He said, “Since the breath analysers are highly unhygienic and can be one of the avenues through which the virus can spread, as such its use in the present scenario may please be considered.”

He further said: “Motorists are made to undergo breath analyser tests to check alcohol level in the blood, the use of breath analyser can be dangerous. As such, kindly consider the proposal of suspending the use of breath analyser or opt for any other method, in the larger interest of human lives.”

The administrator was also requested that “an advisory for schools may also be issued for the protection of children and instructions regarding washing of hands with an alcohol-based hand soap be specified.”

Meanwhile, in a letter to the DGP, President of CRAWFED Hitesh Puri wrote that “the use of breath analysers for detecting drunken driving is highly unhygienic and can be one of the avenues through which virus can spread.”

He requested that the use of breath analysers should be suspended for at least two months.