Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar has finally appeared before the High Court on Tuesday to give the government’s explanation on the Covid-19 situation and measures being initiated in the combat against the pandemic.
The Telangana High Court expressed displeasure over the state government for not implementing its directions in handling the COVID-19 crisis.
Hearing a batch of petitions filed by Professor P L Vishweshwar Rao and others on the number of coronavirus tests being conducted in the state, medical infrastructure and release of health bulletins, the High Court asked the chief secretary on why the government was not testing enough.
The court lambasted the state’s healthcare system and hit out at chief secretary and health Secretary asking whether both knew patients were dying due to lack of oxygen facilities at various hospitals. “Is the state government even aware of the hard fact that patients at the hospitals are dying because of lack of oxygen facilities? How does the government prepare itself to tackle this problem of oxygen facilities? At least 38 Covid-19 patients died due to lack of oxygen facilities?”It is distressing to know that patients admitted the hospitals are dying due to lack of oxygen facilities, which indicates a complete lack of critical care,” observed the court.
The court expressed anguish over the alarming rise in Corona positive cases in the state and fatalities, even in remote parts of Telangana. The court questioned the CS the measures being initiated in rural hinterlands of the state to combat the pandemic. “The positive cases are on an alarming rise. What measures have been initiated by the state government to contain and prevent the spread of the virus,” the court fumed at the Chief Secretary and the Health Secretary.
The court questioned why the government was not providing all details in the COVID-19 cases daily bulletin. “We intend to know why the government has failed to implement our orders. Why complete information is not being released in health bulletins,” the court questioned the Chief Secretary. Further, the court questioned why action should not be taken over non-compliance of its earlier directions.
The court expressed dissatisfaction over a report filed by the state government on COVID-19 tests being conducted in the state. Further, the two-bench judges comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, questioned why the government was not testing enough compared to other states and directed the Chief Secretary to submit a detailed report on the same. The court also sought to know why detailed information with regard to coronavirus cases being put out by the government was not being made available to the public. The court also sought to know from the CS if Covid-19 tests were being conducted in Gandhi Hospital.
Further, the court also asked why the government was not releasing daily health bulletins despite orders to the government to do so. On his part, the Chief Secretary informed the High Court that the state government has conducted 3.5 lakh tests as per the ICMR guidelines. The Chief Secretary also told the court that the government had declared 1,085 containment zones in Hyderabad.