The Delhi High Court Tuesday said there have been repeated instances where RT-PCR test results were not made available to people within 24 hours, and called it “most unacceptable” that the time taken for results was still extending upto even four days.
The court asked the Delhi government in its next status report to clarify how the system is being streamlined to ensure the turnaround time for testing is adhered to. There is obviously “some lag” which must be addressed at earliest, observed the court, while hearing a petition filed by advocate Rakesh Malhotra regarding Delhi’s Covid testing strategy.
“The direction is considered necessary in light of the fact that on most occasions where the samples are collected and sent to the laboratories for testing, the person who is tested is not given any information about the results unless he/she tests positive. In other words, the person is completely in the dark about the results,” the division bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium observed, addingthere is no reason why results should not be communicated on the mobile phone to the persons. The court made the observations after taking note of recommendations made by an Expert Committee on the Testing Strategy, which said results should be available within 24 hours and suspected cases should ensure strict isolation till then.
“When the government has declared a complete unlockdown which requires all employed persons to report for duty regularly… nor can the self-employed persons/professionals be expected to remain in isolation unnecessarily, it is most unacceptable that turnaround for results is still far exceeding 24 hours and extending upto four days,” said the court.
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