Hyderabad

Monitor slums for COVID-19, High Court tells government

Owing to their deplorable civic conditions, slums continue to be high risk zones during the time of dreaded epidemics.

Owing to their deplorable civic conditions, slums continue to be high risk zones during the time of dreaded epidemics.   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

‘Consider distribution of sanitisers, disinfectants and masks through Public Distribution System’

Observing that possible outbreak of COVID-19 in the State capital’s slums cannot be ruled out, Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the government to ensure that all slums are regularly monitored.

Hearing a PIL plea seeking ban on celebrations of Holi festival due to coronavirus, a bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy said the government should create sufficient number of isolation wards near the slums. Distribution of sanitisers, disinfectants and masks through Public Distribution System should be considered.

Since the first person from Telangana State testing positive for COVID-19 had flown into Bengaluru from Dubai and reached Hyderabad by bus from there, the bench said the government should think of setting up screening medical teams at all major railway and bus stations in the State. A strategy to deal with such passengers travelling by buses or trains should be evolved, the bench said.

After perusing a brief note presented by senior counsel S. Niranjan Reddy, who was appointed amicus curiae in the case, the bench hoped the government too would study it. Noting that it was aware that the government had sent a team to Kerala to study the model they had adopted to tackle COVID-19, the bench said Telangana government would emulate the same. Advocate General B.S. Prasad informed the bench that so far nearly 18,224 passengers were screened for coronavirus at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. The Institute of Preventive Medicine Director Dr. Shankar informed the bench that a laboratory for testing samples of potential patients was set up at Gandhi Hospital. It has the capacity to analyse 100 to 200 samples a day.

Action plans

Amicus Curiae S. Niranjan Reddy presented a three-page report citing details of the action plans of World Health Organisation and United Kingdom to check COVID-19. Explaining a ‘modified triage system’ adopted by Kerala State, which witnessed initial cases of the virus, the senior counsel said the State-level committees constituted there were effective.

The plea was posted to March 12 for next hearing.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 2:13:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/monitor-slums-for-covid-19-high-court-tells-government/article30994336.ece

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