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Delhi HC pulls up ICMR over wait for approvals

“Don’t you (ICMR) think one month is too long considering the Covid-19 pandemic situation? Why are you giving one month,” a bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed.

Written by Pritam Pal Singh | New Delhi | July 17, 2020 2:08:52 am
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The Delhi High Court on Thursday expressed unhappiness over the Indian Council of Medical Research’s decision to give a window of one month to private labs and hospitals to complete procedural formalities for being granted approval to conduct Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT).

“Don’t you (ICMR) think one month is too long considering the Covid-19 pandemic situation? Why are you giving one month,” a bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed.

“How does it help the public? They (private labs and hospitals) better tighten up their system…. If you give them one month, they will take two months… How a hospital goes to get itself accredited with NABL, they need to tighten up their own system,” it said.

“Considering the fact that as on July 15, 2020 there are total 1,16,993 cases of Covid-19 infection in Delhi, out of which 17,807 are active cases, and there are 653 containment zones as of today, in our opinion the window of one month given by the ICMR for the applicants to complete the procedural formalities is too long.

“As we have been told that the laboratories have to approach the NABL for it to conduct an inspection before completing the requisite formalities, it is deemed appropriate to direct the NABL to hasten the inspection, so that the applicants can complete the formalities required by the ICMR at the earliest,” the bench said.

It asked Central Government Standing Counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, appearing for the NABL, to ensure the directions are communicated and an affidavit is filed.

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