Telangana

Coronavirus lockdown | Follow orders on COVID pleas or face contempt, Telangana HC tells govt.

No slacking: A vendor duo displaying colourful varieties of masks which continue to be in great demand with COVID-19 safety norms still in place.

No slacking: A vendor duo displaying colourful varieties of masks which continue to be in great demand with COVID-19 safety norms still in place.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

Says directions on conducting autopsy, random public testing not being followed

Telangana High Court on Monday said it would be compelled to initiate contempt proceedings against the officials of State government if its directions in COVID-19-related pleas are not complied with.

Observing that its directions like conducting autopsy on persons who died in hospitals while undergoing treatment for different ailments were not being followed, the HC said it would hold Principal Secretary of Medical and Health and Director of Medical and Health responsible. They would have to face contempt of court proceedings, a bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said.

Advocate General B.S. Prasad told the court that the government had challenged the HC order on autopsies in Supreme Court. Earlier, the HC instructed the government to collect samples of every person who died in hospitals for different ailments and conduct tests to ascertain if they had contracted COVID-19.

Responding to the AG’s contention, the bench made it clear that the apex court was yet to hear the matter. Until it was heard and any order passed, the State government was bound to follow the HC order on the matter, the bench said.

Safety gear

The bench also took serious note of its order to conduct random public testing for coronavirus not being executed. Pointing out that 37 doctors working in government hospitals had already contracted COVID-19, the bench reminded the government that it had earlier instructed that protective gear like PPE kits, goggles, N95 masks and gloves be provided to all doctors and para-medic staff.

The fact that so many doctors became vulnerable to the virus suggested that the required protective gear was not arranged for them, the bench said.

The bench observed that medical bulletins on COVID-19 issued by the government did not possess all facts and figures related to the spread of the virus. The government should ensure that all facts and figures relating to the virus reached all sections of people through regional language newspapers to create better awareness about the virus and its spread.

The matter was posted to June 17 for next hearing.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 5:02:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/coronavirus-lockdown-follow-orders-on-covid-pleas-or-face-contempt-telangana-hc-tells-govt/article31782098.ece

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