Ensure Covid-19 samples tested in less than 48 hours: Delhi HC

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the state government to ensure that the Covid-19 samples sent to the labs for testing are “processed and reports forwarded within a period of 48 hours or less”.

“Delhi Government is directed to ensure that the samples that are furnished to the accredited labs shall be processed and reports forwarded within a period of 24/48 hours,” said a division bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad.

The court further directed the Delhi government to 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 court said.

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The directions came in while the court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Rakesh Malhotra raising a grievance that the Delhi government is not taking expeditious steps to furnish reports after conducting tests for Covid-19 on suspected people, within a reasonable time of 48 hours or even earlier and as a result of the said delay, the contact tracing is also getting delayed and the infection is multiplying rapidly in Delhi.

During the course of hearing, Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Satyakam appraised the court that earlier there was a pendency in processing of samples and declaration of results as the samples were being sent to National Institute of Biologicals (NIB) in Noida where the testing process was slow.

“Following which it was decided to send the samples to 23 accredited labs — 10 public sector and 12 private — in the national capital,” he said.

After noting the submissions made by the parties, the court disposed off the petition, saying: “We are satisfied that adequate remedial measures have been taken by the Delhi Government to expedite receipt of reports for testing patients for Covid-19 infection.”

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