HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday expressed its dissatisfaction over the state government for not providing an action plan to tackle the third wave of Covid-19 and its failure in furnishing the details sought by the court in this regard, particularly the paediatric infrastructure being provided at the district level.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M.S. Ramchandra Rao and Justice T. Vinod Kumar cautioned the government to be alert and attentive to provide the facilities on a war footing basis.
“We all have experienced very tough situations when the second wave hit the state. Don’t sit back and fiddle the thumbs. If another wave happens, then we won’t have the time to blink even an eye. Your preparedness must be reflected in actions, not in your minds or statements. In an earlier round of adjudications, we asked for the details. But, so far nothing was submitted,” the bench observed.
The court passed a series of directions to Dr G. Srinivas Rao, director, public health and family welfare to submit the latest status reports along with the colour coded graded response action plan by September 22. “Till now the Telangana government has not submitted its plan of action. The Ganesha festival has commenced and schools are now partially opened which may lead to some infections among children. Already there are news reports that some teachers were infected in Khammam. Winter season is fast approaching during which there will be a spurt in dengue cases due to mosquito menace. The Niloufer Hospital is the only hospital in the state designated to treat children for Covid-19. Beds available in Niloufer Hospital may not suffice as most of the districts do not have hospitals to treat children. Hence, strengthening the paediatric health care system in the districts to be taken up on war footing,” the court said.
L. Ravichander, senior counsel, brought to the notice of the court about the lacunae and lack of hygiene in the public schools in the district level and submitted that it may spur infections. Further, he said that the government was not disclosing the actual level of measures taken to prevent the infections.
Assistant solicitor general N. Rajeshwar Rao, representing the Union government was directed to file an affidavit in relation to the inclusion of the life-saving drugs used for treating Covid-19 patients in the list of essential medicines.
The court also directed the director for public health and family welfare to increase the number of RT PCR tests, rather than rapid antigen tests (RAT) to get a clear picture on the prevailing positivity rate of Covid-19 in the state. Srinivas Rao informed the bench that 1.79 percent was the positivity rate in the state. The court said the rate was very high....