HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Thursday, December 23, 2021, directed the State government to issue orders, imposing restrictions on large gatherings during Christmas, New Year and Sankranti celebrations, in a Covid-19 related batch of petitions. The orders should be issued within three days as the new Covid variant Omicron is spreading very fast, it said.
During the course of arguments, a bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice N Tukaramji pointed out that Delhi and Maharashtra have already issued such orders, restricting public gatherings during the festival season. The bench also directed the government to arrange screening facilities at borders with other States to test the travellers as presently being done at the airports. Senior counsel L Ravichandran and counsel Chikkudu Prabhakar appearing for the petitioners, sought a direction to the State government to inform the court on the number of citizens who have been vaccinated as Telangana stands at third place in Omicron cases.
The special government pleader informed that as per the court’s directions, the State government has been implementing all SOPs and directives issued by the Union Health Ministry. Each and every information pertaining to the efforts made by the government in curtailing the spread of Covid-19 and the new variant are posted on the official website, he said.
“The Central government has a dedicated team working on this issue and has been issuing directions to all States. These directions should be complied with by the Telangana too,” the bench observed and adjourned the case to January 4, 2022.
Govt decision after receiving court orders: Harish
Health Minister T Harish Rao on Thursday said that the State government will take into consideration the High Court’s direction to put in place restrictions ahead of the festive season in view of Omicron scare. Speaking to the media, he said that once the government receives the court orders, the issue will be brought to
the notice of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and the Cabinet. “We are taking all necessary precautions to curtail the spread of Omicron by testing international passengers at the airport. Except for one case of a doctor testing positive in Hyderabad, there is no other local case. So there is no need to panic,” the Minister said.