‘Andhra Pradesh stands 5th in country in conducting COVID-19 tests’

State refutes amicus curiae allegation that it is lackadaisical

The State government on Thursday informed the Andhra Pradesh High Court that it stood 5th in the country in the COVID-19 tests conducted per million population, with the number surpassing two crore.

In a memo submitted to the court, in response to a PIL filed by the AP Civil Liberties Association, the government also claimed to have conducted the highest number of Rt-PCR tests.

The government also refuted the allegation of Y.V. Ravi Prasad, amicus curiae of the court in the matters related to the pandemic, that it was lackadaisical in conducting the diagnostic tests, and took objection to drawing a comparison with the testing being done in the neighbouring States.

The government told the court that the State had conducted 89,732 tests on June 7, while Mr. Ravi Prasad pointed out that only 64,800 tests were conducted on that date.

‘Comparison uncharitable’

“A comparative statement by the amicus curiae that Telangana has been conducting more than one lakh tests per day is uncharitable, as they are mostly rapid antigen tests,” the A.P. government said.

In his memo dated June 9, Mr. Ravi Prasad said the imminence of the third wave of the pandemic need not be underscored, and submitted that the court might direct the State to increase the number of tests to control the spread of the virus. He also observed that testing was the key to getting back to normal.

“The State is lackadaisical in conducting the tests, even while reporting almost 100 deaths every day. Whereas, Telangana has been conducting more than one lakh tests per day, and the deaths reported are less than 20,” Mr. Prasad said.

The government also said that the SOP laid down by Central government that nomads, prisoners, inmates of mental health institutions, citizens in old-age homes, beggars and people residing in rehabilitation centres / camps should be given vaccine even if they did not possess any one of the seven photo ID cards, including Aadhaar, was circulated to the District Collectors and nodal officers.

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