Even as four more healthcare workers tested positive for coronavirus at the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad, the Telangana High Court on Thursday pulled up the state government for the rising number of COVID-19 cases, especially among doctors.
Hearing a batch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs), a bench comprising Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy asked Advocate General BS Prasad to explain how so many healthcare workers were testing positive for the coronavirus, if the state was providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits.
A consultant from the cardiology department and lab technicians were among those tested positive in NIMS on Thursday. Four doctors and three sanitation workers from the cardiology department had tested positive on Wednesday.
The number of postgraduate medicos tested positive at the Osmania Medical College (OMC) also rose to 16 as four more students were found infected on Thursday.
The petitioners claimed that there was a 'mismatch' in the government's statements to the court and the reality on the ground and many doctors did not have adequate safety gear. The counsel for the petitioners also pointed out that testing in the state was inadequate, and this could be another reason for a delay in COVID-19 cases coming to light.
After hearing the arguments, the court asked the Advocate General to furnish a detailed report with the state government's response to the claims, by June 8.
Telangana continued to witness a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 127 fresh cases and six deaths being reported, taking the tally of positive cases to 3,147 and fatalities to 105. The state had reported 129 cases and seven deaths on Wednesday.
All the fresh cases were reported from different parts of Telangana and no migrants or deportees or foreign returnees were found positive for the virus on Thursday, a bulletin from the state government said.
Out of the 127 fresh cases, 110 were reported from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area, which has been the epicentre of COVID-19 infection in the state.
The bulletin said 1,587 people have been discharged from hospitals so far, while the number of patients under treatment is 1,455.
Out of the total 3,147 cases, total positive cases among migrants, deportees and foreign returnees as of 5 pm on Thursday were 448.
Total cases reported from different parts of Telangana were 2,699, the bulletin said.
With PTI inputs