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Telangana HC raps state govt for denying entry to ambulances transporting COVID-19 patients

HYDERABAD: Taking a serious view of the police denying entry into Telangana for ambulances that were transporting COVID-19 patients to Hyderabad from AP, a division bench of the Telangana High Court on Tuesday asked the government to allow them without any restrictions.

“Under what authority are ambulances being denied entry into Telangana? At a time when COVID-19 is playing havoc with the people, how could the state deny permission to ambulances? Allow all ambulances freely into Telangana,” the court, which resumed the hearing on the case, ordered, describing the action as very unfortunate and inhuman.

The bench was also not very happy with the state government for not taking the COVID-19 situation seriously. When the AG apprised the court that the state had imposed a lockdown for 10 days from Wednesday, the court said disdainfully that the decision was taken when the Corona graph is coming down.

The court also wanted to know how migrant labourers could return home if the lockdown comes into effect from Wednesday. The AG submitted to the court that the state would take care of their problem. He said already half of the migrant labourers had left Telangana fearing the imposition of the lockdown anytime.

The court found fault with the government for not imposing a weekend lockdown or extending night curfew hours when it made the suggestions in its last hearing and on the other hand, the government, the same day, maintained that there was no need for a lockdown as the situation was under control.

The court asked the state government to ensure that those going in for the second dose of the vaccine should be allowed to go to the vaccination centres during lockdown hours.

When the court met in the morning, it expressed its dissatisfaction over the response from the state government to its suggestions in the last hearing. It wanted to know what happened to its direction for the constitution of an expert committee to guide the state government on measures to be taken to combat COVID-19. It expressed its displeasure over the government reducing further COVID tests at a time when it asked for their ramping up.

The court observed that night curfew was not being properly implemented and that in places like the Old City, there was no control over religious activities. If the state wanted to take up measures only after Ramzan, who would be responsible if the situation worsens further in the meantime, it asked.