The Delhi High Court said five-seven days cannot be taken for getting COVID-19 results for pregnant women prior to admitting them in hospitals for childbirth, and asked the Indian Council of Medical Research and Delhi government to look into the issue.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Delhi government to look into the issue while hearing a plea by a lawyer seeking that the test results of pregnant women should be given priority. The court had issued notice to the authorities on June 12 on the plea.

In a separate case, the High Court Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad asked the ICMR to clarify if private hospitals that have been declared as COVID-19 hospitals should be permitted to conduct the Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) on both symptomatic and asymptomatic persons who seek admission for COVID-19 treatment or for other treatments.

The Bench said that RAT numbers per day were “abysmal” as they were not even reaching 50% of the target of 22,000 tests set by the Delhi government.

Delhi government Additional Standing Counsel Satyakam, appearing for the health department, said RAT methodology was started on June 18 and was in its trial phase. He submitted that on June 18, a total of 15,012 samples were collected in Delhi out of which, 7,040 samples were tested through RAT and 7,972 through the RT PCR (Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction) test.

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