The High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi government to focus on shoring up the capacity of testing through RT-PCR, noting that results of the tests conducted through RAT are accurate only to the extent of 60%.
A Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad said, “We are of the firm view that RT-PCR should be the way forward”.
“The results of the tests conducted through RAT are accurate only to the extent of 60% thus leaving a great doubt about infection being carried by those persons who are asymptomatic,” the Bench said, directing the Delhi government to ‘substantially’ scale up testing through RT-PCR.
Sero surveillance report
It directed an expert committee constituted by Lt. Governor to identify the areas of focus in Delhi for conducting testing through RT-PCR. The court also directed the government not to declare the sero surveillance-3 report till its analysis vis-a-vis the previous two sero surveillances is finalised and placed on record before the court.
Delhi government’s additional standing counsel (ASC) Satyakam stated that the sero surveillance-3 results are still being compiled and more time will be required to finalise the report.
“It has been noticed that on previous occasions too such a submission was made on behalf of the Delhi government and we had accommodated learned ASC only to find that the sero surveillance report was made public on the very next date,” the court observed.
During the hearing, Mundeja, Director General Health Services, Directorate of Health Service, stated that there are 435 mohalla clinics out of which 400 are currently functional and about 50-60 of them have been conducting COVID-19 tests after OPD consultation is over.
“We are of the opinion that not only mohalla clinics but also community centres situated in residential colonies should be roped in for setting up facilities for COVID-19 testing, particularly when the number of cases are shooting up on a daily basis,” the court said
It also directed the Delhi government to ensure that while getting the mapping of locations of various testing facilities in Delhi for easy access of people, the density of the population in a particular district and the number of containment zones are taken into consideration. “Wherever there is quite a distance between the facilities presently set up for testing purposes, the dots shall be connected with the intervention of mohalla clinics and community centres of the area,” the court added.
In response to the High Court direction, the Delhi government said it will implement the orders.