A bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy pointing out that the state government needed to test more to get a true picture of how much the virus has spread in the state, asked it to explain its logic.
Taking a serious view of the government’s decision to conduct fewer Covid-19 tests, the Telangana high court wondered how it would get a true picture of the spread of the coronavirus in the state. The court was upset with the government for directing doctors to not to collect blood samples from dead persons and not to conduct COVID 19 test on them. The court said that to get a true picture of how much the virus has spread in Telangana, the state government needed to test more. The Court pulled up the state government for its decision to conduct fewer COVID-19 tests and sought to know what its strategy was to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The court noted that health experts everywhere were asking governments to ramp up testing. At such a crucial juncture, it sought to know why Telangana decided to decrease the number of tests being conducted each day. The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Professor PL Vishweshwar Rao from the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS). Advocate General BS Prasad stated that the state government was following guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Asking the state government to file a detailed report on the questions raised by it, including a list of containment zones in Hyderabad, the court posted the case for further hearing on May 14. Meanwhile, Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender defended the state government’s strategy in a press meet on Friday evening, where he told reporters, “The perception that we are doing poor testing is entirely wrong. We told the same to the Centre today.”
The Telangana government is facing widespread criticism from Opposition parties and others over conducting fewer tests compared to other states and concealing its testing data. Meanwhile, 10 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Friday, taking the state’s tally to 1,132. No deaths were reported and the death toll remained unchanged at 29.
Eatala Rajender said that a request was made to the Centre to include 14 districts, currently in the orange zone, into the green zone as no new case was reported from these districts for the last 21 days. If accepted, this will take the total number of districts in the green zone to 27.
The state has also urged the Centre to upgrade Suryapet, Nizamabad and Warangal Urban districts from red zone to orange zone. Rajender said that this would leave only Hyderabad and adjoining districts of Ranga Reddy and Medchal in the red zone.
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