RT-PCR tests should be scaled up for Covid-19 testing: HC3 min read . Updated: 16 Sep 2020, 08:52 PM IST
The court has said that till the report of Sero Surveillance-3 is finalized and the analysis of the sero surveillance-3 vis-a-vis the previous two Sero Surveillances is placed on record, the same shall not be declared
New Delhi: The Delhi High court on Wednesday observed that RT-PCR tests for Covid-19 should be the way forward since the results of the tests conducted through RAT are accurate only to the extent of 60% thus leaving a great doubt about infection being carried by those persons who are asymptomatic. Since an Expert Committee has been constituted by the Lieutenant Governor, the court has requested that the said Committee to convene a meeting on priority to consider the extent to which capacity building for RT- PCR testing is required in the current scenario.
The Committee shall also identify the areas of focus in Delhi for conducting testing through RT-PCR. The report of the Expert Committee shall be filed along with the Status Report to be filed by the Delhi government before the next date of hearing.
The court has said that till the report of Sero Surveillance-3 is finalized and the analysis of the sero surveillance-3 vis-a-vis the previous two Sero Surveillances is placed on record, the same shall not be declared.
As regards availability of mobile facilities in Delhi, it is stated that the Delhi Government has constituted 79 mobile teams active in 11 districts.
Coming to mapping of locations of various testing facilities in Delhi for easy access of people who may need testing to be done at prominent places including entry and exit points of Metro Stations, it has been stated that Delhi Government has appointed Geospatial Delhi Limited to undertake mapping of fixed site testing facilities for COVID-19 and the said map shall be shared by Geospatial Delhi Limited with the state government in a few days.
The court on inquiring Dr Mundeja, DGHS, Delhi government, as to how many Mohalla clinics have been set up in Delhi, she stated that there 435 Mohalla clinics out of which 400 are presently functional and about 50-60 of the said Mohalla clinics have been conducting COVID-19 tests after OPD consultation is over.
“We are of the opinion that not only Mohalla clinics, even Community Centres situated in residential colonies should be roped in for setting up facilities for COVID-19 testing particularly when the number of cases are shooting up on a daily basis. As of yesterday, 4473 fresh COVID-19 cases have been detected in Delhi. Delhi Government shall ensure that while getting the mapping done, the density of the population in a particular District and the number of Containment zones in a District are taken into consideration and wherever there is quite a distance between the facilities presently set up for testing purposes, the dots shall be connected with the intervention of Mohalla clinics and Community Centres of the area." The court said.
“Necessary compliances in this regard shall be made at the earliest. Requisite number of Mohalla clinics and Community Centres shall be identified in each District and included in the mapping being undertaken by Geospatial Delhi Limited. A copy of the map finally prepared shall be placed on record along with the next Status Report." It added.
On the last date of hearing, the court had said that doctor’s prescription is not mandatory for covid-19 testing in the capital. The rule will be applicable for RT/PCR test to detect the infection. However, the person opting for voluntary testing is mandatorily required to carry his Aadhaar card with proof of Delhi address and needs to fill in the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) form for COVID-19 testing.
The slew of directions has been passed by the two-judge bench while hearing the plea filed by advocate Rakesh Malhotra seeking directions from the court for ramping up of test.