The Telangana High Court on Monday again slammed the state government over its handling of the COVID-19 situation and directed six top officials, including the Chief Secretary, to appear before it on July 28.
The Principal Secretaries of Medical and Health, and Municipal Administration, the Director of Public Health, the Director of Medical Education and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner were the other officers summoned by the court.
The court asked the government to respond why no action should be taken against the officials who are repeatedly ignoring its orders.
A division bench of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy expressed unhappiness over the government not implementing orders passed by it on earlier occasions.
This is the fourth time the court has pulled up the government and expressed its displeasure over the poor handling of the pandemic in the state.
Last month, the court had summoned the Director of Public Health and the GHMC Commissioner.
Hearing Public Interest Litigations (PILs) on various issues related to COVID-19, the court on Monday made it clear that this is the last chance for the government.
"This is the fourth and last chance given to the government ..or else the court would make sure that heads start rolling," the bench remarked.
The court made some serious remarks on the way the government is handling the situation and took it to task for not implementing its earlier orders on conducting more COVID-19 tests, providing better treatment facilities, maintaining transparency and disseminating all information to the people.
The bench pointed out that Telangana was far behind states like Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala in conducting tests. It said the statistics show that the state is lagging in tests per million.
Stating that the pandemic had taught every country in the world that the healthcare sector should be taken care of, the bench said those who don't learn the lesson will face the situation seen in countries like Spain, Italy and the US.
Meanwhile, Telangana on Monday reported 1,198 new COVID-19 cases, taking the state's tally to 46,274.
According to the media bulletin issued by the Health Department, seven people succumbed to the virus on Monday, pushing the death toll to 422.
Officials said 1,885 people recovered in a single day, taking the total number of recoveries to 34,323. With this, the state further improved the recovery rate to 74%. The number of active patients stands at 11,530.
A total of 11,003 samples were tested on Monday. With this, the total number of tests conducted so far rose to 2,76,222.