Hyderabad lab resumes Covid tests after court’s intervention

Hyderabad, April 24 (IANS) A diagnostic lab, which was allegedly obstructed from conducting Covid-19 tests by YSR Congress Party MP Vallabhaneni Balashowry, resumed its work following intervention by the Telangana High Court.

Tenet Diagnostics, operating from the premises owned by the MP from Machilipatnam in posh Banjara Hills here, was stopped from conducting the tests last week though the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has authorised it for the same.

After learning about ICMR’s nod to do Covid tests on April 15, Balashowry asked the laboratory to vacate the premises and even sent a mail in this regard the next day, citing the fear among the residents in the building and the neighbours.

The diagnostic staff found the gate of the premises locked on April 17. The management was shocked as the lab work had come to a standstill.

The diagnostic centre, a B2B entity, gets blood samples from 200 to 250 hospitals in and around Hyderabad, pointed out its owner Vijender Reddy.

Alleging trespass of the leased premises, the lab owner lodged a complaint with the police. Considering the importance of the nature of work engaged in by the diagnostic centre, the police acted swiftly to ensure its smooth functioning.

The diagnostic centre also approached Telangana High Court, which directed the police to take action if the MP or his men obstruct the lab from carrying out Covid-19 tests.

A single judge bench, in an interim order, directed the police to ensure smooth functioning of the lab. The court also made it clear causing obstruction would attract penal provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act.

The judge posted the case to July 8 for further hearing.

Contacted by IANS, Vijeynder Reddy refused to comment on the incident saying the issue is subjudice. “The matter is in court. It has settled the issue. I don’t want to say anything on this,” he said.

The MP could not be reached for his reaction.