The Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the state government to provide more information in its daily COVID-19 bulletin released to the media.
In view of increasing number of cases being registered in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits, the court ordered the government to release ward-wise details of the cases and provide the information to colony residents' associations.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy also asked the government to provide Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits to doctors and other healthcare professionals attending to COVID-19 patients.
The division bench gave several directions to the government while hearing Public Interest Litigations (PILs) about the COVID-19 situation in the state, lack of adequate testing and the government not providing N-95 masks, face shields, goggles, PPE kits to doctors at Gandhi Hospital, the nodal facility for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
For a second consecutive day, the court shot a volley of questions at the state government.
Director of Public Health G Srinivas Rao and Gandhi Hospital Superintendent Raja Rao appeared before the bench.
The Director informed the court that 79 healthcare professionals in the state have so far tested positive for COVID-19. However, this contradicted with a statement issued by the Telangana Chief Minister's Office (CMO) earlier this month that the figure was at 153.
Raja Rao conveyed to the court that Gandhi Hospital is experimenting with plasma therapy and use of antiviral drugs.
The court also asked the court to take into consideration the suggestion by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct antigen tests.
It asked the government to increase the number of tests. The government was also directed to explain why it feels random tests will not help. The bench also asked the government to respond why mobile labs cannot be run.
The court sought a report from the government by June 29.
The government informed that 54 hospitals across the state can conduct COVID-19 tests. Of them, 22 are in GHMC limits and 32 in other districts.
The court wanted the government to widely publicise important information about COVID-19 tests, results and hospitals where the treatment is available.
It directed that the shift system implemented in the Gandhi Hospital should be made applicable to doctors in the other government hospitals.
The series of directions came a day after the court remarked that the state has lost interest in fighting the coronavirus and that it is ready to throw in the towel with a message that everyone should fend for themselves.
Expressing its displeasure over the government ignoring its orders, the bench wanted to know why the government is not sending its medical staff to test people door-to-door.
Telangana has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases with a daily jump of over 200 cases.352 people tested positive for the virus on Thursday, thus taking the total tally to 6,027 out of which 2,531 patients are currently undergoing treatment.