HYDERABAD: Expressing concern about the preparedness of the State government in tackling swine flu, a division bench of the Telangana High Court directed the Chief Secretary to file a comprehensive report in the form of an affidavit informing the steps being taken by the government, both preventive and curative measures, to tackle the epidemic during this winter season.
Further, the Court directed the government to undertake wide publicity about precautionary and preventive measures to be taken by the people with regard to dengue and swine flu.
The bench passed this order on Friday in a PIL filed by Dr M Karuna complaining inaction of the authorities concerned in taking preventive steps against dengue in the State, and PIL which was taken up suo moto based on a letter addressed to the high court chief justice by advocate Rapolu Bhaskar who pointed out lacunae in government hospitals in dealing with swine flu, dengue and others.
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On earlier occasion, the bench directed the government to constitute a high-level committee headed by the Chief Secretary and such a committee should submit report before the court every Thursday informing the progress made on the epidemic issue.
The committee is directed to examine the requirement of tools such as mounted fogging machines, power sprayers and the knapsack machines for all the major cities and towns.
Pursuant to court order, the government constituted a nine-member committee with Chief Secretary as its chairman and heads of various departments as members and it will consider the areas that need to be covered in order to eradicate the diseases.
The committee will seek an expert opinion as to the quantity of machinery and the extent of manpower that is needed to tackle the menace.
As per the court direction, the recommendations of the committee should be binding on the State.
When the matter came up for hearing, state advocate general BS Prasad submitted a report before the court regarding the steps taken for eradication and management of vector-borne diseases more particularly dengue.
Advocate K Pavan Kumar, appearing for Dr Karuna, pointed out that the authorities concerned are not properly utilising print, electronic and social media for creating awareness among the public for taking precautionary and preventive steps against the epidemic.
Already, incidents of swine flu affected persons are reported from different parts of the State, he added.
After perusing the contents of the report and hearing the submissions of the petitioner’s counsel, the bench expressed its concern over the government’s preparedness in tackling swine flu which is expected to rise during this winter season.
The bench posted the matter to December 13 for further hearing.