HYDERABAD: Telangana High Court on Tuesday took the State government to task for its poor response to the second wave of Covid-19 that is building up across the State and asked it to submit a report within 48 hours on measures to taken to combat the pandemic.
The High Court gave the direction after the State government submitted a 400-page report, as previously directed by the court, in which it said that about nine lakh people have been tested for Covid-19 so far and that it also shut schools and colleges to prevent its spread.
The report, which listed out measures taken in the last 15 days, also pointed out that it had issued a G.O. making wearing masks mandatory.When the government submitted that it was gradually increasing the number of Covid-19 tests, the court shot back and asked how it can justify its action at a time when the pandemic was spreading rapidly. It asked the government to immediately increase the number of RT-PCR tests to arrive at a realistic estimate of the incidence of infection so that appropriate measures could be taken.
Taking serious exception to what it considered flippant and negligent approach to the pandemic, the High Court wanted to know why the government was allowing the functioning of bars, pubs, liquor shops, cinema halls and gyms and why it had not contemplated imposing restrictions on them.
The court also pointed out that the people are turning up in large numbers for funerals and weddings, posing a major threat to the public health. It also expressed displeasure over the the government not doing enough number of RT-PCR tests.
The court pointed out that more number of rapid antigen tests, which are unreliable, were being conducted in the State, while RT-PCR tests were not even 10 per cent of the total tests done on Covid-19 suspects. The court asked the State to inform what action is being taken by those who flagrantly violated Covid-19 protocols and how much fine has been imposed on the law-breakers.
The court wanted to know where the 54 Covid-19 treatment centres which were set up were functioning and whether the government was disseminating information about how one could reach them in times of emergency.
‘Conduct vax drive 24/7’
The Telangana High Court also asked the State govt to speed up vaccination drive. Since the government was saying that it has enough number of vaccine doses, let the vaccination drive be conducted 24/7