Delhi High Court instructs private laboratories to continue with onsite COVID-19 tests
Delhi High Court on Thursday instructed private laboratories in the Capital to approach Delhi government in case they are facing any issue over continuing the sample collection from onsite or homes, in order to undertake RT-PCR tests for Covid-19.
The high court further said that in case private laboratories feel the expenses that they incur for sample collection from onsite or home, and doesn’t get covered by the fixed test rate of INR 2,400 capped by Delhi government, then the grievance must be raised with the government. By this the High Court benched by Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the private laboratories not to cease sample collection from home or onsite for RT-PCR testing of Covid-19.
The Bench elaborated, “However, it is not acceptable that the private laboratories will stop conducting onsite tests at such a critical juncture where the number of cases of COVID-19 infection are shooting up phenomenally, on a day by day basis.”
A petition was filed in public interest, which was under hearing process in Delhi High Court, by one Rakesh Malhotra. The petition highlighted the issues faced by the petitioner while trying to get testing done for Covid-19. Petitioner Rakesh Malhotra said that he had personally been denied by at least 2-3 laboratories in Delhi for sending someone to collect the onsite sample. He also added that grievances against Delhi government by private laboratories have largely been resolved by expert committee established by Lieutenant Governor.
In response the Delhi government’s counsel said that all the private laboratories have been individually written seeking clarification in the matter. They have been asked for a detailed report as to whether they are continuing with onsite sample collection for performing RT-PCR test. The counsel informed that majority of the laboratories have responded saying that they haven’t stopped with onsite testing and are continuing to collect samples.
Delhi Government informed the HC bench during hearing that there are 433 containment zones in the capital region as on July 1, 2020. Furthermore, care camps have been established at 167 locations within containment zones for feasibility of testing.