‘No delay in childbirth for pregnant women over COVID test’

"A genuine problem has been turned into a ‘bureaucratic nightmare',"

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has been informed by the Delhi government that in the case of pregnant women, “obstetric (childbirth) management would not be delayed in order to test for COVID-19” unless a woman is suspected of carrying the deadly virus.

“If a pregnant woman meets the criteria, she should be tested but obstetric management would not be delayed in order to test for COVID-19,” the affidavit of the Delhi government said.

The affidavit was filed before the court in response to a petition by Nikhil Singhvi seeking expeditious testing and speedy declaration of results of pregnant women going to hospitals for childbirth.

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The Delhi government further stated, “All the pregnant women are not presumed to be COVID-19 positive. It is not mandatory for every pregnant woman to undergo COVID test unless and until she is confirmed as a COVID-19 contact or is suspected to have COVID-19.”

A division bench of the court presided by Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan after taking note of the submissions and the affidavit filed by the Delhi government, disposed of the petition.

“Enough steps have been taken by the government of NCT of Delhi to address the prayers of the petitioner. We see no reason to issue any further directions in the matter. Hence, the writ petition is disposed of,” the bench said.

Earlier on July 9, the court had expressed its displeasure after the Arvind Kejriwal government did not clarify whether every pregnant woman who goes to a hospital for delivery or urgent treatment is required to undergo the COVID-19 test.

“A genuine problem has been turned into a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’,” the bench had said.

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