Telangana High Court Pulls up State Government Over COVID Test Numbers

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Telangana High Court on 19.11.2020, warned the State Government to be wary of the second wave of COVID-19 and directed it to step up testing at least 50,000 tests per day in the coming weeks.

Brief Facts 

The Court expressed its surprise at the poor enforcement of social distancing norms at MeeSeva centres. Hundreds of people had gathered there to apply for flood relief in the last few days. The state public health director Dr G Srinivas Rao claimed to have done 40 lakh tests till the present date. However, the Court expressed its doubts on these figures.

Observation of the Court 

The Bench consisted of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy.

According to the Bench, State Public Health Director, Dr G Srinivas Rao was trying to mislead the Court with clever ploys. 

The Bench was to get a graph prepared on the testing pattern of the Director of State Public Health’s supposed testing numbers. The Bench reminded the Director that Maharashtra had done 82 lakh tests and Karnataka had done 98 lakh tests.

Directions of the Court 

The Court observed that the number of tests which were done one day after the Court hearing stood at 20,000 per day. However, the Health Department would increase the number of tests to 40,000 a day just three days before the next hearing. Thus, the Bench stated that the Health Department ought not to mislead the Court with clever ploys. 

The Bench told the Director and the State to implement COVID-19 norms with the help of police to ensure compliance. The Bench also mentioned that Rajasthan started penalizing all those who were caught on the roads without masks. The Court advised the State to adopt this, in the coming weeks. 

The State was directed to introduce the latest methods of testing, approved by ICMR. The Court also ordered the State to adopt measures to understand and track the Covid-19 movement in the State.


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