The High Court on Thursday expressed discontent with the Telangana government's low testing for COVID-19. The Telangana government submitted reports stating that it has been conducting nearly 40,000 COVID-19 tests every day. The bench, comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy described the government's report on COVID-19 issue as vague.
The bench said, "Don’t pat yourself for taking up 40,000 tests per day in Telangana when States like Maharashtra have already done one lakh daily tests. It’s not at all a great job done by the State, rather it is a horrible job of under testing. Prior to the listing of batch cases in the HC, it appears that the State increases the number of tests and once the case hearing is over and adjourned, the number of tests miraculously goes down drastically. Since Telangana carries out less number of tests, obviously the number of cases will be lower as compared to other states.”
The bench described the government's report on the Covid problem as unclear and found fault with the submission of the report just 15 minutes before the court proceedings started. The bench said the Telangana government is not doing its job in taking further tests, claiming that the second wave has already started in Kerala and Delhi and nations like the USA and Europe.
The Chief Justice added that "The Court cannot go on begging the State government to divulge its disaster management plan. Instead, the court will draw serious adverse inferences against the government for not furnishing the State disaster management plan.”
The High Court ordered the government to take strict action against those who are not following COVID-19 precautions, such as not wearing masks, not following physical distance and spitting on the roads. The bench noted that it had witnessed that most individuals who had gathered at the Mee Seva centres for flood relief compensation violated the protocols.
The court said that “No police were there to control them. If this goes on, the situation will worsen with a second wave, which has already hit Delhi and Kerala”. Justice Vijaysen Reddy said, “In our country, the chances of gatherings and congregations are very high. So, the government should conduct more tests like one lakh per day.”
The court ordered the government to increase the tests to 50,000 after two hours of hearing and asked to increase it to one lakh within the week. It said that RT-PCR testing kits must be made available at all district headquarters hospitals.
A total of 20 PILs have been filed against the Telangana government's failure in dealing with COVID-19. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on November 26.