Hyderabad: With the mishandling of the dengue outbreak still fresh in memory, the High Court has begun taking stock of the state government’s preparedness to tackle swine flu during the winter. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan was dealing with three PILs related to the inaction of the authorities in controlling the spread of diseases.
The court directed the Chief Secretary to file an affidavit indicating the steps, both preventive and curative, being taken by the government to tackle swine flu which usually strikes between December and February. It directed the government to increase the number of diagnostic laboratories to 10 in cities across the state to detect the virus and appoint trained staff for them. The bench told the government to publicise precautionary and preventive measures to be taken with regard to swine flu, dengue and chikungunya through the media. Justice Chauhan asked the government to direct all private hospitals to deal with swine flu case as part of corporate social responsibility, particularly for the economically weaker sections.
The court took cognizance of the submissions of counsels Kovutturi Pavan Kumar and Niranjan Reddy that there were only two diagnostic centres to detect swine flu and arrangements had not been made to tackle the disease and the vaccine was not available.Mr Pav-an Kumar said the government was not properly utilising media to create awareness among the public. The etomology department had not put out even one post since the formation of the Telangana.
Concerned over the non-availability of vaccines, the Chief Justice sought details from the medical department officer, who was present in the court. “Like polio vaccination, the authorities should create awareness among the people to get vaccinated as a precautionary measure. Even in this court hall, most of them could not have been vaccinated,” Justice Chauhan observed. On the dengue outbreak, the court expressed displeasure over the inc-omplete reports submitted by the Chief Secretary and the GHMC about the action taken based on the recommendations of the experts committee which the High Court had constituted.
The High Court had earlier directed the government to ensure that 60 vehicle-mounted fogging machines are made available to the GHMC immediately, and to increase the number of power sprayers from 50 to 1,000 and knapsack sprayers from 667 to 800....