Hyderabad: Responding strongly to the sudden stoppage in issuing daily health bulletins, which contain numerical data of the total number Covid-19 cases in the state, and include other details like deaths, recoveries etc., the Telangana High Court on Thursday ordered the Telangana state government to “immediately recommence the exercise of issuing daily bulletins from Friday onwards”.
A division bench of the High Court, comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy, while dealing with public interest litigations (PILs) related to Coronavirus issues, learnt that the issuance of daily bulletin has been stopped. The Court directed the Director of Public Health and other officials concerned to immediately recommence the exercise.
The Bench expressed concern over the huge public gatherings and congregations, which have been witnessed in the state. The Court directed the government and Telangana police department to scale-down gatherings.
Chief Justice Kohli said, “newspapers have reported that there was a bereavement function in Khammam recently, and at least 20 per cent of people who participated were affected with Coronavirus. Further, the state government has given permission to open up cinema halls, public parks etc., but preventive measures it has put in place are not adequate.”
These gatherings should be scaled down as we are witnessing a rise in Covid cases in neighbouring states like Karnataka and Maharashtra. Inter-state transport could lead to a spike in infections here too, the Chief Justice observed.
The HC Bench directed the Telangana government to file a fresh status report by March 18, duly informing it about the steps taken by the government to contain the fresh second wave of Coronavirus prevalence in the state.
Noting that the Telangana government has not conducted a sero surveillance survey (to measure presence of antibodies in people) or studies to track and monitor Covid infection from spreading in the state, on its own, the High Court Bench directed the state to conduct a sero surveys in places where the number of cases were high.
The Advocate General submitted that three sero surveys were conducted between June, 2020, and December, 2020, by the Union government. Advocate General B.S. Prasad submitted that 1.03 lakh RT-PCR tests and 4.83 lakh Rapid Antigen Tests were conducted by the state between January 25 and February 12, 2021.
While adjourning the PILs to March 18, 2021, the Bench also directed the Telangana government to give wide publicity for the vaccination program initiated by the Central government, wherein people of different ages would have to register themselves online to get Coronavirus vaccination.