Telangana HC asks government to resume Covid bulletin

Hyderabad: Two days after Telangana stopped issuing a daily media bulletin on the Covid-19 situation, the Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the state government to resume it to provide information to people on a daily basis.

A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy asked the government to resume releasing information within 24 hours.

The court asked the authorities to update all information like number of cases, recoveries, tests and vaccinations on the portal of the Health Department, observing that providing information to people is important, especially when the cases are rising in some states which led to fears of a second wave of the pandemic.

It referred to the increase in number of cases in neighbouring Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Counsel of a petitioner brought to the notice of the court that the Director of Public Health discontinued issuing bulletins despite the fact the court is monitoring the Covid situation in the state.

The court also sought a report from the state government on the steps to prevent a possible second wave, suggesting that the authorities prevent gathering of large number of people in public places.

It also directed that another serum survey be conducted in the state and recommendations of experts on the basis of findings of such a survey be implemented.

The government submitted a report to the court about the tests conducted since January 25. According to the report, 1,03,737 RTPCR tests were conducted from January 25 to February 12, and the number of antigen tests during the same period was 4,83,266.

Meanwhile, Director of Public Health, Dr G. Srinivasa Rao said 22,850 healthcare workers were given second dose of the Covid vaccine on Thursday. With this, the cumulative number of healthcare workers administered second dose increased to 1,31,391.

Out of 3,31,097 healthcare workers targetted for first dose, 1,95,850 took the vaccine. The authorities had also targetted to vaccinate 2,57,239 frontline workers and of them 93,677 have so far received the first dose.

The director said mop-up sessions for the first dose for healthcare and frontline workers will be conducted across the state till February 28 while mop up sessions for the second dose for healthcare workers will be conducted till February 27.

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