HYDERABAD: Sounding an alert on Coronavirus, a division bench of Telangana High Court on Friday asked the State government about its preparedness to tackle the virus apart from swine flu, dengue and other vector-borne diseases. It also directed the Chief Secretary to file a detailed report on the steps taken by the government to curtail the spread of the infection.
“We now have another virus named ‘Corona’. Unfortunately, three cases have been detected in our country and it is of grave concern. This menace, which has come from China, is a unique virus and is spreading very fast. The Telangana government should take the issue seriously and take firm steps to stop the spread of the virus. Even though the Coronavirus is not the subject issue in the present PILs, the court wants to know about the State government’s preparedness in tackling this new virus,” the bench observed.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy, passed this order in the PIL filed by Dr M Karuna.
Dr M Karuna complained about inaction of the authorities concerned in taking preventive steps against dengue fever 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 other serious ailments.
State Advocate General BS Prasad, while submitting report filed by the director of Public Health and Family Welfare, informed the court that all the government hospitals have set up wards to screen and isolate all the suspected Coronavirus patients while about 44 cases of swine flu have been reported and there are no dengue cases.
All the districts medical health officers were directed to strictly adhere to the instructions given to them in tackling the patients affected with swine flu, dengue and malaria, he added.
On the other hand, advocate K Pavan Kumar, appearing for petitioner Dr Karuna, pointed out that the government has so far not constituted swine flu technical committees and has not made any efforts to bring down the cases of swine flu, dengue and other diseases. No reports have been filed in the case despite the court order, he added and urged the court to direct the government to file a detailed report on the steps taken to curtail the above diseases.
During the course of hearing, the chief justice said: “Any person returning from China or South East Asia, is being subjected to strict screening at the airports. But what about the large number of people who have already come from these countries and are travelling in the state by buses and trains which is an easily accessible mode of transportation available to them. How these people are subjected to foolproof screening?”
After perusing the report filed by the director, the bench termed it as unclear, and directed the Chief Secretary to file a detailed report comprising all above issues. The bench posted the matter to February 27 for further hearing.