COVID Results Shall Be Conveyed To the Person Within 24 Hours: Delhi High Court

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The order has come in a writ petition moved by Rakesh Malhotra. The Petitioner herein seeks to ramp up testing facilities in Delhi.

 

Facts of the Case

A status report was filed by the Government of NCT, Delhi on October 6. The said report states that over 80% of tests are conducted through RAT. And in a few districts, about 90-95% of tests are conducted through RAT. The current test positivity by RAT is 4.3% and by RTPCR, it is 20.33%. A majority of the testing has been conducted in camp settings and the people tested were asymptomatic.

The said status report also mentioned the following recommendations forwarded by the Expert Committee, constituted by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi:

  1. The timing of the test should be strictly given as per the recommendations. 
  2. Turn around time of testing with results should be less than 24 hours.
  3. All the symptomatic visiting flu/fever clinics should be tested by RT-PCR, and optimum utilization of all labs for RT-PCR testing must be ensured
  4. Criteria for scaling up of testing should be based on positivity in each district.

 

Court’s Observation

The court observed that the said recommendation is being followed more in violation than in compliance. It has been noticed that the turn-around time for declaring the results is crossing four days. This is most unacceptable when a person tested is required to be isolated for that duration. 

The court further observed that the person tested is not given any information about the result unless he/she tests positive. There have also been occasions when the samples collected by the Delhi Government are sent to laboratories that do not entertain any queries for the report on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Court’s Order

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Delhi Government to submit a status report stating, ‘how it is planning to streamline the system?’ It is to ensure that the testing results are conveyed to the concerned person within 24 hours of taking the sample.

The court further noted that the mobile number of every person tested is taken at the time of the testing. Then, there is no good reason why the result should not be communicated on the said mobile number, within 24 hours of the samples being sent to the lab for testing.

In addition to this, the court directed the ICMR and CSIR to submit affidavits stating, ‘whether the new test FELUDA, which has received the clearance from the Drug Control Authority, can be approved for usage?’ 

The court will next take up the matter on November 11.

 

For the original order of the case, Click here: Rahul Malhotra v. GNCTD

 


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