RT-PCR for flyers coming from other States can check second wave: HC

‘Telangana lagging far behind than other States’

Why cannot the State government explore the idea of making RT-PCR test mandatory for air passengers coming from other States witnessing high rate of COVID-19, the Telangana High Court asked on Thursday.

Hearing a batch of PIL petitions on coronavirus related subjects, a Bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said that such measures would help effectively check the second wave of COVID lashing the State. “You need to seriously think of it,” the Bench said.

The HC Bench noted that States such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir had already initiated similar steps.

The Bench noted that with 20% of RT-PCR tests to its credit, Telangana was lagging far behind other States. The government should swing into action to reach 70% of RT-PCR tests as suggested by the Central government.

Pointing out lack of some details in the status report presented by Public Health director Srinivasa Rao, the Bench sought a fresh status report by April 15.

Expressing concern over availability of adequate stocks of vaccine vials, the Bench said that there should not be any wastage of vials taking into consideration the huge gap in demand and supply. “Each vaccine vial is worth its weight in gold,” the CJ remarked, directing Advocate General B.S. Prasad to furnish details of wastage of vaccine vials in the next status report.

Referring to the Central government guideline that vaccine outreach should be extended to rural areas, the Bench wanted the government to present details of the number of people vaccinated so far. Expressing concern over the second wave of coronavirus, the Bench asked the government as to why it was not imposing restrictions on the number of people assembling for marriages and death anniversaries.

“In the coming month of May, marriages would be in full blast in view of auspicious days,” the CJ said, adding that lack of restrictions on gatherings was likely to result in spurt of COVID cases. There would be pre-marriage functions also. While there were restrictions on religious places, why not similar rules to control footfall at cinema halls, malls, clubs, pubs and bars, the Bench sought to know.

The petitions were posted to April 19 for next hearing.

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