Hyderabad: In a major setback to the Government of Telangana, which has refrained from conducting tests on persons dying with symptoms, the Telangana High Court, on Thursday, directed the state to conduct Covid-19 tests on the dead also by collecting samples after death.

The court also expressed displeasure with the report submitted by the state in this regard.

The High Court passed the directions while dealing with a PIL filed by Telangana Jana Samiti vice-president Prof. P.L. Vishweshwar Rao, challenging the orders issued by the State Commissioner and Director of Medical and Health to not collect samples from dead bodies for Covid-19 tests.

The petitioner’s counsel, Chikkudu Prabhakar, contended that there is no mention in the WHO and ICMR guidelines regarding conduct of Covid-19 test on blood samples of the dead.

He informed the court that WHO states that a person has to be tested, traced, isolated or treated for the disease. However, the state government has not taken the initiative to conduct tests on people living in containment zones located in Hyderabad city.

He also informed the court that if tests are not conducted on a large-scale, the virus cannot be detected and it would lead to the third stage, which could be worse than a pandemic. He presented before the court the cases of doctors in Nellore and Kurnool of Andhra Pradesh, who were tested positive after their death.

The court, while posting the hearing in the case to May 26, directed the state to strictly comply with the guidelines issued by the WHO and also directed it to submit a detailed report in this regard. The court also directed the Centre to submit a report on the procedures being followed in dealing with the virus.

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