The High Court of Delhi highlighted that any further delay cannot be caused in ramping up testing facilities. Hence, the requirement of providing a doctor’s prescription for getting oneself tested for COVID-19 through RT-PCR tests shall not be needed.
Facts of the Case
A brief Status Report has been filed by the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) on September 4. ICMR has placed on record the latest Testing Advisory on demand for all individuals undertaking travel to other countries and interstate. Also to guide where a negative COVID-19 test is mandated, at the point of entry and testing, by all individuals who wish to get themselves tested. Hence, a recommendation has been made to the concerned State Governments to decide if they wish to simplify the modalities of testing.
Submissions before Court
Mr. Satyakum appeared for the Respondent. He states that the Delhi Government is adhering to the testing strategy recommended by the ICMR. He further reveals that the number of cases is climbing up sharply, having touched 3,609 on September 7.
Mr. Satyakam further submits that Indian Railways has started deploying more trains. Hence testing at the Railways Stations shall also increase proportionately.
Keeping in mind the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi, the court directed:
- To provide a buffer of additional 2,000 RT-PCR tests besides 10,000 tests to the Delhi Government out of a total testing capacity of 14,000 through RT-PCR.
- The Delhi Government to deploy at least 4 mobile facilities for testing in each of the 11 districts.
- The Delhi Government to prepare a map indicating the testing facilities that have been set up all over Delhi.
- To provide testing facilities to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for displaying at prominent spots to enable commuters to access the testing sites, closest to their point of exit/entry.
- All the private laboratories to prioritize testing RT PCR samples sent to them by the Delhi Government.
- In the event, the Delhi Government sends additional samples for testing through RT-PCR to the private laboratories, the same shall also be entertained by giving reports without any delay.
The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad further said that any person demanding a test would only be required to fill-up the form prescribed by the ICMR and produce the Aadhaar Card to establish that he/she is a resident of Delhi.
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