Hyderabad: A two-judge panel of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Raghuvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Abhishek Reddy on Tuesday directed the Telangana government to provide masks and personal protection equipment (PPE) to medical staff dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. It also directed Dr Shankar, Director, Institute of Preventive Medicine, to explain the possibility of conducting rapid tests for the public.
Hearing a PIL through video conference, the panel also directed the government to ensure social distance in places where vegetables and fruits were being made available to people. It also asked the government to submit details on the actions taken to control coronavirus.
The panel was dealing with a batch of writ petitions filed by Rapolu Bhaskar, Prof PL Vishweshwar Rao, R Sameer Ahmed and others. The petitioners sought directions from the court on several issues, including the issue of migrant labourers and marginalised sections, sanitation measures, facilities at quarantine centres, release of prisoners as directed by the apex court, closing down of churches and masjids as done in the case of temples, arranging of coronavirus testing centres at district level and conducting mobile Rythu Bazars.
Action against cops
The petitioners further sought directions to take action against police personnel beating up people. It is also brought to the court’s notice that the medical staff were not properly equipped with protection kits and masks required to treat coronavirus. Earlier on Tuesday, when one of the petitioner’s counsel, Chikkudu Prabhakar, raised concerns over the facilities of medical staff, the panel directed the superintendents of government hospitals to submit a report before the respective legal service authority before May 6 as to the facilities made available to the staff.
When the counsel further raised concerns over the hike of prices of perishable goods, the panel directed the Member Secretary, Legal Service Authority to file a ground level report by April 29 by examining the situation. The counsel further voiced concern over the plight of about three lakh migrant workers stuck in the State. Responding to the petitioners, Advocate General BS Prasad said all necessary actions were being taken by the government. He said 329 areas were declared as containment zones to control the spread of the virus. In response to the issue of migrant workers, he informed the court that about two lakh migrant labourers were being taken care of by the government. The panel adjourned the case to May 8 for further hearing on the steps taken by the government.
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