Delhi High Court order on COVID-19 testing, Delhi, 08/09/2020

Order of the High Court of Delhi in the matter of Rakesh Malhotra Vs Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi & Others dated 08/09/2020.

The ICMR filed a status report informing the HC of the latest Testing Advisory issued on September 04, 2020. The highlight of the said Advisory is that ICMR has for the first time, recommended testing on demand for all individuals undertaking travel to other countries, Interstate, wherever a negative COVID-19 test is mandated at the point of entry, as also testing by all individuals who wish to get themselves tested. A recommendation has been made to the concerned State Governments to decide if they wish to simplify the modalities of testing.

As regards the latest Status Report of the Delhi Government - the testing strategy recommended by the ICMR is being adhered by the Delhi government. Though the Delhi Government was directed to examine as to whether the necessity of obtaining a prescription from a private doctor for persons who wish to undergo the RTPCR test should be made mandatory/optional or be completely done away with, the same is being mulled over and some more time is required in that regard - the court was informed.

Directions of the Delhi HC: 

The Delhi High Court directed that any resident of Delhi who wished to get tested at his/her own expense through RTPCR for COVID-19 infection, need to produce a prescription from a doctor. The person concerned would only be required to fill up the form prescribed by the ICMR and produce the Aadhaar Card to establish that he/she is a resident of Delhi.

Mobile van facilties for conducting testing at various spots in Delhi, must be ramped up the Delhi HC said. At least four such vans should be available in each of the 11 districts to be stationed at sites, as may be considered appropriate including near prominent DMRC terminals.

Sero Surveillance-3 conducted by the Delhi Government in collaboration with Maulana Azad Medical College in the month of September has been concluded. The results of Sero Surveillance-3 was still being collated and it has to be placed on record along with a fresh Status Report to be filed by the Delhi Government, giving an update of the status of testing.

The matter would be taken up again on September 16.