A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy instructed the state to file a fresh status report within 48 hours on the steps taken to tackle the spread.

Exterior view of the Telangana High Court in HyderabadSource: Wikimedia Commons/Chiranjeevi Anisetti
news Court Tuesday, April 06, 2021 - 16:27

The Telangana High Court on Tuesday pulled up the K Chandrashekar Rao-led Telangana state government for poor RT-PCR testing and vaccination numbers. The High Court observed that measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus infection were not being followed in the state. The court instructed the state to file a fresh status report within 48 hours on the steps taken to tackle the spread.

A bench consisting of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy was hearing two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) on COVID-19 related issues. The court noted that the RT-PCR tests conducted in the state is less than 10% of all diagnostic tests being carried out in certain districts. The court expressed concern that despite expert opinion that RT-PCR tests are more accurate than Rapid Antigen tests, the state was not carrying out enough RT-PCR testing.

The judges referred to the diagnostic test numbers presented to the court in a report by the state Attorney General as pathetic and said that the state cannot afford to go slow on conducting tests.

Taking the Warangal (Urban) district as an example, the court pointed out that while 4,000 Rapid Antigen tests had been carried out, in comparison only 1,400 RT-PCR tests had been done.

“Why is the state not doing 24/7 vaccination while some other states are doing? What have you done to check the occupancy rate in hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars? Are you controlling the number of people assembling at weddings and death ceremonies?” the Chief Justice reportedly asked the state Attorney General.

The CJ also stated that the court would be compelled to pass directions to the state government if it failed to tackle the pandemic. She further added that it was not up to the court to run the state, reported The Hindu.

The court also told the state government that there was no need to shut hotels and restaurants but directed it to take steps to contain occupancy rate as a means to reduce the spread of the disease.

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