Seriousness expected on steps to check COVID: HC

‘Where is action plan to contain anticipated third wave?’

Expressing dissatisfaction over non-compliance with its directions on inclusion of life-saving medicines used for treating COVID-19 patients in the list of National Life Saving Drugs, the Telangana High Court on Wednesday instructed Assistant Solicitor General Namavarapu Rajeshwar Rao to file a fresh affidavit on the matter.

Hearing a batch of PIL petitions connected to COVID-19, the HC said the Central government’s response in the matter was “slow”. “Virus is not going to wait for you…lives would be lost if you act in slow motion,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice and Justice T. Vinod Kumar said, referring to the Central government.

“When the virus strikes, it strikes so fast….Some seriousness is expected on this issue,” the bench noted. The ASG told the court that he had difficulty in approaching the right department since there were several of them under the Union Ministry of Health. He stated that once he had to make 23 telephone calls in a matter as the Ministry had several wings.

Justice T. Vinod Kumar told the ASG that the court could not come to his rescue on this issue and he had to find the right department to convey the court findings or directions. The bench took exception to the expert committee constituted by the State government to guide on COVID-19-related matters not convening any meeting so far.

The HC instructed Advocate General B.S. Prasad to ensure that the expert committee met and discussed the strategies to check rise of Coronavirus cases in the backdrop of reports that a third wave of the pandemic was imminent. “Where is the action plan to contain the anticipated third wave of COVID-19?” the bench sought to know.

The bench asked the AG about the steps taken by the government to augment medical infrastructure in the State in the form of ICU beds and other facilities.

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