Giving crucial data pertaining to rise in COVID-19 is not enough; the details of alarming rise in positive cases and other statistics about the virus must be uploaded online so that people understand the extent of its rampant spread and take safety measures, the Telangana High Court said on Monday.

Hearing a PIL plea filed by Amrita Aryendra of Hyderabad, a bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said the government should ensure people realise how quick the virus is spreading, by disseminating all information. The pandemic is rising alarmingly with each passing day. Unless citizens know how the extent of the contagion, they would not be in a position to understand what safety precautions to take so that they do not fall prey to the virus, the bench said.

The petitioner said while other States were parting with all details about COVID-19 affected areas and persons, the Telangana government was not doing so. The Kerala government was extensively publicising all facts and figures relating to coronavirus through newspapers and TV news channels, she said. Unless people have clear and precise information, they would not realise the seriousness of the situation and may become vulnerable.

“Suppressing such information from citizens would only further aggravate the situation and the virus surreptitiously spreads. This will result in medical disaster,” the CJ observed. Data on number of samples collected, details of samples tested and how many of them emerged positive is key to understand the pattern of the spread of the virus.

Further, how many primary and secondary contacts of the positive persons were identified, detailed of those traced and the number of persons quarantined is also essential to assess the severity of the spread of the virus. The government should disseminate all such information including the persons admitted in hospitals and those discharged, the bench said.

The bench instructed Advocate General B.S. Prasad to file a detailed report on all the points raised by the petitioner by June 18 when the plea would be heard again.

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