Telangana HC seeks report on State’s steps to tackle COVID-19 outbreak
Chief Secretary asked to file report by Feb. 26by Marri Ramu
Asking the Telangana government if it was geared up to tackle COVID-19, the Telangana High Court on Friday instructed the Chief Secretary to file a detailed report by February 26 on its preparedness to check the possible incidence and spread of the new virus in the State.
The issue of the SARS-CoV-2 virus cropped up during the hearing of two PIL pleas by a Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy over spread of Swine Flu, Dengue, Malaria and other viral fevers breaking out in different parts of the State. While asking about the steps being taken by the government to contain the incidence of different viral fevers, the CJ observed that a new COVID-19 outbreak was reported in China.
“Unfortunately three cases of SARS-CoV-2 virus infected persons were reported in the country. It was of grave concern,” the Bench said. The challenge in the form of new virus from China had killed many people and had posed threat to the lives of thousands of people in other countries as well.
The Bench said the court wanted to know how the government was prepared to handle the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 virus though it was not part of the content of the two PIL petitions as it was spreading like wildfire. The CJ observed that persons returning from south east Asia or China were being screened at the airport and further being directed to get clearance from the doctors at the airport.
“But what about people who had already come from south east Asia or China and are travelling in Telangana by buses and trains?” the Bench sought to know. Buses and trains are easily accessible modes of transportation and some of those travellers would have travelled by them. How would they be subjected to foolproof screening for the new virus, the Bench asked.
Advocate General B.S. Prasad, assuring to comply with the direction on SARS-CoV-2 virus, informed the Bench that as per the data available with the government 44 cases of Swine Flu were detected in the State by January 24. No instances of Dengue were reported. Referring to SARS-CoV-2 virus, the AG replied that special and isolated wards to treat persons suspected to have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 virus were set up in government hospitals.