Supreme Court directs state Govts to increase Covid-19 testing

New Delhi: In a suo moto case registered as “In Re Proper Treatment Of COVID-19 Patients And Dignified Handling Of Dead Bodies In The Hospitals, Etc.,” the Supreme Court today directed the State Governments to increase the number of Covid-19 testing, so as to ascertain the affected population and provide them with adequate treatment.

The bench comprised by Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and MR Shah observed,

“Non-testing of the patients is not a solution to the problem rather increase in the testing facility is the duty of the State, so that people may come to know about their health status regarding Covid19 and they may take appropriate care and treatment of Covid-19.”

The remarks were made after the bench noted that there has been a sharp decline in the number of testing of Covid-19 patients, especially in Delhi.

“The Government App of Delhi itself indicates that the number in testing of Covid-19 patients has gone down in the month of June, 2020 as compared to the month of May 2020,” the bench said.

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As per record, 6018 samples were tested on May 27 in Delhi, while as of June 11, only 5077 testing were reported in Delhi. The number is extremely low when compared to the States of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu where 16,000 and 17675 testing have been conducted.

“We do not understand why the tests have gone down in State of NCT Delhi,” the bench remarked.

The court observed that there is an increase in the number of patients affected by Covid-19, especially in Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chennai and Ahmedabad, and over 10,000 new patients are being identified every day.

In these circumstances, the Court has “impressed” upon the States,

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“to ensure that there should be steep increase in the testing both by Government hospitals and private labs and whosoever desires for testing should not be denied on any technical ground or any other ground. The States may consider simplifying the procedure so that more and more tests be held to benefit the patients.

Vide the said order, the bench has also issued notices to the Governments of NCT of Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu over management of COVID-19 situation.

The Court directed that the Chief Secretaries of these states should take immediate note of state of patient care in government hospitals and formulate a detailed status report in this regard.

The case was registered yesterday, after the Supreme Court took suo moto notice of the reports of alleged mishandling of Covid-19 affected dead Bodies.

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