The Telangana High Court (HC) on the 6th of April, reviewed a petition over the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 situation in the State.
The HC bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy, questioned the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Government about the COVID-19 surge. They inquired about the imposed restrictions and other precautions taken to curb the spread of the virus.
Expressing disappointment over the steps taken by the K. Chandrashekar Rao led Government, the HC asked why no restrictions were imposed on pubs, bars and cinema theatres.
The CJ Hima Kohli asked, “Why the State is not doing 24/7 vaccination while some other States were doing? What have you done to check occupancy rate in hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars? Are you controlling number of people assembling at marriages and death ceremonies?” She further said, “it is not for us to run the State.”
The Court also asked about steps taken to contain the spread of the virus.
In addition, the HC asked the Government to submit a report within 48 hours on the cases booked against and fines imposed on those violating the guidelines. Recently, the Telangana Government issued notice of imposing hefty fines on violation of COVID-19 guidelines. The court also suggested the State Government to be more cautious and take action against large gatherings for marriages and funerals.
After discussing the steps and preventions of COVID-19, the High Court asked about the COVID-19 infection tests. It expressed unhappiness over the report submitted on COVID-19 tests, treatment and tracing.
The Court asked the Telangana Government to increase the number of per day tests and focus on Rapid Antigen Tests. It noted that the number of RT-PCR tests is not even 10% of the total tests being conducted in the State. Out of the 9,11,661 Covid-19 tests done in the state, 7,63,136 were done through RAT (Rapid Antigen Test) whereas only 1,48,525 tests were done through RT-PCR.
When B.S. Prasad, the Advocate General of the Government, informed the court that the government is gradually ramping up RT-PCR tests, the court said when Covid is spreading fast in its second wave, how long will it take for the government to increase the number of RT-PCR tests.
In addition, the Court asked the TRS Government to publicise the number of tests at bus stations, railway stations and at other crowded places. The health authorities were also directed to conduct a wide publicity campaign about COVID-19 treatment centres.
The next hearing regarding the COVID-19 situation would be announced after the TRS Government’s report. The TRS Government was asked to submit a report on COVID-19 situation by the 9th of April.