The Telangana High Court on Monday directed the state government to ensure that one lakh COVID-19 tests are conducted every day. The court further directed the government to submit a segregated list of RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen tests.
The court was hearing a PIL on COVID-19. The petitioner in the PIL argued that the state government is not complying with the High Court orders dated 5 May 2021 and 4 and 7 January 2022 asking it to conduct one lakh tests per day. The state is conducting less than one lakh RT-PCR and RAT tests and is not maintaining micro-containment and containment zones. Many counsels of the High Court have also tested positives, the petitioner argued and said that unless the state complies with the HC orders it cannot prevent a huge surge of cases. The petitioner also submitted that online classes should be conducted by educational institutions for the same reason.
Hearing a batch of PIL petitions pertaining to COVID19, a Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili directed the government to look into all contentions submitted by the counsels and directed it to submit a compliance report on or before 24 January.
Earlier on 7 January, The Telangana High Court had directed the state government to consider a complete ban on public gatherings, including in cinema halls and malls, and avoid congestion in public. The Bench had also asked the government to conduct COVID-19 tests on a larger scale so that containment and micro-containment zones can be identified and implemented. Testing should be conducted at borders, airports, and bus/railway stations, the Bench had said.
The court had also asked the state government to explore the possibility of increasing the number of beds or identifying more hospitals other than Niloufer for children. Widely publicize the vaccination programme for children between 15-17 years, the court had told the state.
The HC had directed the state to make mandatory wearing masks, using sanitizers, and following COVID-19 protocol in large fruit/vegetable markets.