The directions were issued by a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad after perusing the affidavits filed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and NCDC in response to its queries on the last date regarding how many labs and private hospitals in Delhi have been allowed to conduct the Rapid Antigen and RTPCR tests as well as the status of the sero survey carried out in the national capital.
ICMR said it has been granting approvals to the private hospitals and labs, to conduct the Rapid Antigen and RTPCR tests, was an ongoing process and it has given one month”s time to them apply for the same after getting accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
RT/PCR, short for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction, is a laboratory technique widely used in the diagnosis of genetic diseases and to measure gene expression in research.
The bench was of the view that the one month time given to the private labs and hospitals was too long as it could lead to complacency and directed ICMR to shorten the window so that the general public is not inconvenienced in finding a lab or hospital for testing during the prevailing pandemic.
The court also directed NABL, represented by central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, not to drag its feet when it receives applications for accreditation and to immediately carry out the inspections. “NABL has to hasten the procedure,” the court said to Ahluwalia.
Regarding the sero surveillance, NCDC in its affidavit said the study was done “to assess the prevalence of infection at the community level and is primarily used for evidence based public health response”.
It said that after testing the collected blood samples for antibodies, the “results are then further collated based on epidemiological data and are then analysed for their stratification across different parameters which requires time and expertise”. “The data is further analysed for its validity, variation and confirmation vis-a-vis similar such studies across the world,” it said.
NCDC said this exercise has to be done methodically and is a time consuming process and therefore, imposing timelines for declaration of result of these studies “will lead to a compromise in the quality of the analysis and can have a detrimental impact on the evidence-based results so expected to be obtained through such sero survey studies”.
It said that once preliminary findings are obtained the same will be made available in the public domain. It told the court that minimum one more week would be required for the preliminary results to be ready and the bench asked it to file the same before the next date of hearing on July 27.
During the hearing, conducted via video conference, the Delhi government informed the court that from June 18 to July 15 it has carried out 2,81,555 Rapid Antigen Detection Tests and of these 19,480 were positive and therefore, they were recommended/ referred to necessary treatment.
Of the remaining 2,62,075 who tested negative, those who were symptomatic — which numbered 1,365 — were sent for RTPCR test and of them 243 were found to be positive, Delhi government additional standing counsel Satyakam told the court.
The bench, thereafter, directed Satyakam to file an updated status report by the next date of hearing on July 27. The directions came on the plea by advocate Rakesh Malhotra seeking increasing of the testing numbers in the national capital and getting speedy results.
- Residents blame Ludhiana MC for ignoring fogging
- Mumbai: Two missing after a fishing boat carrying 13 fishermen capsizes
- Theatre doyen Ebrahim Alkazi who trained Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri dies at 94
- Won’t spare any politician or public servant found complicit in hooch tragedy: Punjab CM
- Nitish Kumar recommends CBI probe in Sushant case, sets up a new row
- Covid-19: Indigenous Australian group blocks Uluru access route over pandemic fears
- Covid-19 will disappear with blessings of Lord Ram, says Shiv Sena ahead of ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony
- Kolkata airport operations will be suspended for 7 days in August due to Bengal lockdown
- Coronavirus lockdown study reports surge in health anxieties
- HC adjourns virtual hearings after heavy rainfall in Mumbai, hearings postponed to Wednesday
- Congress again reaches out to rebel Rajasthan MLAs, lists its only condition
- Kareena Kapoor, Kajol, Alia Bhatt, Tara Sutaria dress to impress for Rakhi 2020
- Early indicators of economic activity in July show improvement over June: Nomura
- Tripura CM in home quarantine after two family members test Covid positive
- Aam Aadmi Party to restructure Delhi unit with an eye on municipal polls: Gopal Rai