Hyderabad: Expressing displeasure over Covid-19 protocols being ignored in public, and the lack of visible policing to initiate action against the violators, the Telangana High Court on Tuesday directed the police and GHMC to take stern action against those who is not wearing masks and not maintaining social distancing.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili directed the government to take strictly ensure that Covid-19 norms are followed.
The bench was dealing with a batch of public interest litigations and writ petitions filed on issues relating to Covid-19. Counsels told the court that a circular was issued mandating the wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing but it was not implemented.
Agreeing with counsels, Chief Justice Sharma observed, “I don’t see the police or the GHMC checking people... it is very unfortunate. There should be strict checking and fine should be imposed on the violators as per the instructions issued.”
Kowuturi Pawan Kumar, counsel in a batch of PILs, said the latest status report submitted by the government showed that a door-to-door survey was conducted between January 21 and 23 which found 1.7 lakh persons suffering from fever following which 1.78 lakh kits were distributed.
However, the Covid-19 bulletins of the health department were showing only about 3,000 positive cases daily. This mismatch in figures raised doubts, counsel said.
He said the government was providing kits with the same contents to adults and children. If illiterate or unwary parents would give medicines from the kit in the same dosages to children, it would affect them adversely, counsel said.
Senior counsel L. Ravichander, appearing for one of the petitioners, that the government was placing false details about Covid-19 management to the court. He said he would present at least 10 persons who had not got the first dose of vaccination whereas the government had said that vaccination coverage for the first dose was 100 per cent.
Ravichander said that the government was trying to convince the court that everything about Covid-19 management was hunky-dory. He said the attitude of the government in Covid-19 management was similar to the tale of the emperor's new clothes; the emperor was nude but believed that only those with a good conscience could see his clothes.
The Chief Justice asked counsels to give suggestions for directions to the government for effective management of Covid-19. The bench directed the Director, Public Health, to come prepared on the next date of hearing to specify the steps taken by the government in extending medical aid to children during this pandemic as Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad was the only designated hospital to extend medical aid to children in case of Covid-19 infection.