Del HC | Delhi fast heading towards becoming Corona capital of the country; Private hospitals in Delhi, that are equipped with a lab to undertake COVID-19 Test, be permitted to do the testing

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad, JJ., private hospitals in Delhi that have been called upon to reserve 20% beds for admitting COVID-19 patients, are equipped with labs to conduct the COVID-19 test and have ICMR’s sanction, should proceed to conduct tests for other surgeries/ procedures on symptomatic/asymptomatic persons who wish to seek the same.

Counsel on behalf of GNCTD placed a status report with regard to the number of public sector and private sector labs that have been permitted to undertake tests for COVID-19 suspected patients.

Petitioner on contrary submits that the list of private sector labs that are mentioned in the Status Report submitted as stated above are incorrect, as the Delhi Government has disallowed about 6 labs from undertaking the COVID-19 tests.

Bench 

Court deemed it appropriate to issue notice to all the 23 laboratories who were stated to be undertaking COVID-19 tests and file affidavits clarifying as to whether they have been permitted to undertake tests by adopting RT-PCR test or the CB-NAAT test. They shall also point out the difficulties, if any, faced by them on account of any bureaucratic red tapism.

Delhi is fast heading towards becoming the Corona Capital of the country, an epithet the city can well do without.

Court observed that, the need of the hour is that all the private hospitals in Delhi, that are equipped with a lab to undertake COVID-19 Test, be permitted to do the testing without any further loss of time. Bench added that, this is all the more imperative as the Delhi Government has directed all the private hospitals in Delhi to reserve 20% beds for admitting COVID patients.

Non-Covid-19 Patients

Court stated that it is most unfortunate to note that the non-COVID Patients are being made to wait to undergo test for COVID-19 at labs other than those which are situated within the premises of the hospitals, that are equipped and authorised to conduct the test.

Thus, in view of the above situation, Court directed that,

all the private hospitals in Delhi that have been called upon to reserve 20% beds for admitting COVID-19 patients, are equipped with labs to conduct the COVID-19 test and have the sanction of the ICMR to do so, should proceed to conduct tests on symptomatic/asymptomatic persons, who seek admission in the hospital for undergoing surgeries/procedures of other nature as well.

Matter to be listed on 18-06-2020. [Rakesh Malhotra v. Government of NCT of Delhi, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 645, decided on 11-06-2020]

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