Telangana HC warns state of contempt notice for 'dodging' orders on COVID-19 testing

The HC wondered why the state government had not increased its COVID-19 testing numbers despite orders from the court to do so.
Telangana High Court
Telangana High Court
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The Telangana High Court on Monday asked the state government not to 'dodge' its orders on COVID-19 testing and warned that it would issue contempt notices to officials of the state government if necessary.

A bench comprising Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy wondered why the state government had not increased its COVID-19 testing numbers despite orders from the court to do so.

The court also said that the state government should disclose more details in its daily bulletins, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that the state was downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.

The HC also asked about its orders to the Telangana government to test dead bodies for the coronavirus.

In a press note issued on Monday night, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said, "It is difficult to implement the High Court order that coronavirus tests should be conducted on the dead, for whatever reasons they have died. In the state every day, 900 to 1000 people die due to various reasons. Every day, someone will die in some remote part of the state. It is not possible to conduct tests on them. If the medical staff in the hospitals are deputed for this duty, they will not get any time to treat the patients."

"World Health Organisation (WHO), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) or the Centre never asked for tests on the dead. The High Court directions in this regard are impossible to implement. The state government will go for an appeal in the Supreme Court in this regard," it added. 

In the court, Advocate General BS Prasad had conveyed the same to the bench. However, the judges said that as they did not have any directions from the Supreme Court yet, they should begin implementing the High Court's order.

The court postponed the matter for further hearing to June 18.

Meanwhile, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Monday visited the state-run Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad to extend moral support to the doctors and paramedical staff who are undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in the hospital.

Talking to reporters, she said she wanted to extend moral support to the doctors, nurses and paramedical personnel, policemen, media and the sanitary workers who are at the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.

Observing that the number of medicos affected was a concern for her, the Governor said she wanted to visit them and convey that ''we are with you.''

Several healthcare personnel, including doctors and medicos, have tested positive for COVID-19 at different hospitals in the city, including some at NIMS in recent days.


PTI inputs

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