The High court of Delhi has directed all the private hospitals in Delhi that have been called upon to reserve 20% beds for admitting COVID-19 patients, are equipped with labs to conduct the COVID-19 test and have the sanction of the ICMR to do so, should proceed to conduct tests on symptomatic and asymptomatic persons, who seek admission in the hospital for undergoing surgeries or procedures of other nature as well.
The bench comprising Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad was hearing a plea filed by Advocate Rakesh Malhotra, who alleged the state government was not taking expeditious steps to furnish test reports within a reasonable time of 48 hours or even earlier due to which contact tracing was getting delayed and the infection was multiplying rapidly.
“It appears that Delhi is fast heading towards becoming the Corona Capital of the country, an epithet the city can well do without. We are of the opinion that it is the need of the hour that all the private hospitals in Delhi, who are equipped with a lab to undertake COVID-19 test, be permitted to do the testing, without any further loss of time. This is all the more imperative as the Delhi Government has directed all the private hospitals in Delhi to reserve 20% beds for admitting COVID-19 patients, said the Court.
“It is most unfortunate that non-COVID-19 patients are being made to wait to undergo test for COVID-19 at labs other than those which are situated within the premises of the hospitals, that are equipped and authorised to conduct the said test.” the court added.
The petitioner submitted that there has been a phenomenal spike in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Delhi. Even as per the Delhi Government, it is expected that the cases will rise to 50,000 by 15th June, 2020 and to 5,50,000 by 30th July, 2020. He further stated that it is therefore imperative to ramp up the number of test undertaken to detect the infection.
It was also brought to the court’s notice that the non-COVID patients, who are approaching private hospitals for admission to undergo emergent surgeries and other such procedures, are not attended to till they undergo a COVID-19 test, for which they have to go elsewhere.
The bench also impleaded ICMR as a party so that the details of the private hospitals authorised by it to undertake the COVID-19 tests can be furnished to the Court by the next date. The matter has been listed for next hearing on June 18.
Read the order here;Order-11.06