A Divison Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad has directed the Delhi Government to ensure that the samples for COVID-19 tests are processed and reports are forwarded within a period of 24-48 hours and to continue updating its website on a regular basis to reflect the correct number and status of tests that are being conducted for COVID-19 in the city.
The petitioner through Advocate Rakesh Malhotra stated that the Delhi Government was not taking expeditious steps to furnish reports after conducting tests for COVID-19 on suspected people. Court’s attention was also drawn to the Twitter handle of the Chief Medical Officer, Delhi which stated that as on April 28, 3295 results were pending and on April 30, this number rose to 3793.
Additional Standing Counsel Satyakam represented Delhi Government. ASG Maninder Acharya with Standing Counsel Anurag Ahluwalia appeared for Central Government.
The Delhi Government had informed the Court in response of petition that it was cognizant of the delay in receiving reports and has dealt with it without losing time. On April 22, it was decided that henceforth no sample shall be sent to NIB, Noida due to the delay of over 15 days in forwarding the reports and the samples were distributed among other government and private labs to ensure that the reports are received within one day from the date of submission.
The Delhi Government said that it shall continue to operate for at least two more weeks.
The Court was further informed that at present, there are 23 accredited labs that undertake COVID -19 testing in Delhi, out of which 10 are in the public sector and others in the private sector. The Delhi Government contended that test reports would be received within 1-2 days from the date the sample is received claiming the capacity of labs.
the Court opined that it was satisfied that adequate remedial measures had been taken by the Delhi Government to expedite receipt of reports for testing patients for COVID-19 infection and ordered,
Delhi Government is directed to ensure that the samples that are furnished to the accredited labs, details whereof have been furnished in the documents forwarded by learned ASC by Whatsapp shall be processed and reports forwarded within a period of 24/48 hours. It is further directed that the Delhi Government shall continue updating its website on a regular basis to reflect the correct number of tests that are being conducted for COVID-19 in Delhi, mention the number of cases that are positive or negative and state the number of results that are pending after the tests are conducted.
The petition was disposed of.
Read the Order here: