Sending samples to 23 labs in city for quick COVID-19 test results: Delhi govt to HC

New Delhi: The AAP government told the Delhi High Court on Monday that to get faster results of coronavirus tests, it was sending samples to 23 labs — 13 private and 10 public sector — in the national capital.

Taking note of the submission made by the Delhi government, a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad disposed of a PIL seeking directions to the Centre and the Delhi government to ensure swift testing of coronavirus or COVID-19 and declaration of results within 48 hours.

The court said nothing remained in the plea, moved by a lawyer, in view of the steps taken by the Delhi government.

Delhi government additional standing counsel Satyakam also informed the bench that it was decided not to send samples to the National Institute of Biologicals (NIB) in Noida where the testing process was slow leading to increase in pendency.

The Delhi government placed before the bench an order issued by the Health and Family Department in which it was observed that there was considerable pendency at NIB, Noida which was “hindering effective containment of the disease.

The department’s order directed its officials not to send any sample to NIB, Noida for testing and the samples shall now be sent to government and private labs to ensure the results are received within a day. The submissions were made in response to the PIL by Rakesh Malhotra who contended that swift testing and declaration of results was necessary to identify the coronavirus patients in time and prevent community spreading of COVID-19.

He had referred to news reports which claimed that delay in testing was affecting contact tracing.

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