The Telangana High Court on Monday, January 17, directed the state government to ramp up daily numbers of RT-PCR tests for COVID-19. The court asked the health authorities to conduct a lakh RT-PCR tests every day. It also directed them to provide separate details about the RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests in the daily COVID-19 bulletin. The court gave the directions while hearing petitions related to the COVID-19 situation in the state.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice N Tukaramji underlined the need to be more alert to check the spread of COVID-19. The court said COVID-19 rules like social distancing and wearing of masks need to be strictly implemented. During the hearing, the Advocate General informed the court that the state Cabinet will be meeting later in the day to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the state.
The meeting to be presided over by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is likely to decide new measures to curb the spread of the pandemic. The bench directed the government to submit a detailed report on the measures taken and adjourned the hearing to January 25.
The High Court's direction on RT-PCR tests is significant as the medical and health department in its daily COVID-19 bulletin has not been sharing the break-up of the tests conducted on a daily basis. The daily count of COVID-19 cases in the state has risen five-fold since the beginning of the new year.
On an average, the state is reporting 2,000 new cases in a day. On Sunday, January 16, the state logged 2,047 cases. The health authorities conducted 55,883 tests in the 24-hour period that ended at 5.30 pm on January 16.
As part of its efforts to check the spread of COVID-19, the state government has already banned rallies, public meetings and other public gatherings. It has also extended holidays for all educational institutions till January 30.
The state Cabinet is likely to take decisions on other measures like imposing night curfew.