HYDERABAD: In what could be an embarrassment for the Telangana government, the Telangana High Court on Tuesday expressed severe displeasure over the state government’s approach towards coronavirus pandemic, specially the testing pattern in the state.
In one of the strongest strictures, the high court not only reprimanded the state government but even held the state government responsible for the spread of the dreaded virus by not conducting enough tests in proportion to the state’s population.
The high court was hearing a batch of five petitions which raised concerns that COVID-19 tests are being done perfunctorily. The petitioners also alleged that the doctors involved in the combat of the pandemic were not being provided with masks and that no adequate facilities are being given to labourers returning to the state.
Taking a serious view on the issue, the high court sought to remind the state government that the number of tests being conducted in the state is significantly very low at a time they are being conducted on a larger scale across the country. It questioned the state government as to why ICMR guidelines are not being followed in Telangana while all other states are adhering to the nodal medical research agency’s advisory.
Pointing out that only 545 tests are being conducted per every one million population, the high court expressed its displeasure at this low rate of testing. It also sought to know as to how many tests have so far been conducted on migrant workers that are returning to the state. In response to this, the state advocate general informed the high court that a total of 24,443 migrant workers had been tested in the state so far.
Rejecting this contention, the high court directed the state government to furnish details by the first week of June on how many primary and secondary contacts have been tested in the state so far. Stating that the Central government had already written twice to the state on the issue of coronavirus tests, it asked for those details as well to be furnished before it.
Observing that more than one lakh fatalities had been recorded even in an advanced country like the United States, the high court appealed to the state government not to create such a scenario in Telangana.