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Process requests by pregnant women for COVID-19 tests, results quickly: HC tells Delhi government

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said there ought not to be any time lag between request for testing, sample collection and declaration of results. 

Published: 09th July 2020 09:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th July 2020 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

Pregnant women awaiting COVID-19 checkup.

Pregnant women awaiting COVID-19 checkup. (Photo | G Pattabi Raman, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Pregnant women’s request for COVID-19 test should be met immediately and the its results be declared quickly, the Delhi High Court told the AAP government on Wednesday. 

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said there ought not to be any time lag between request for testing, sample collection and declaration of results. 

The court said that when pregnant women go for deliveries they cannot wait five to six days for carrying the tests and declaration of results.

“Immediately requests should be accepted and immediately results should be given,” the bench said.
The Delhi government told the court that as per the advisory issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the tests results would be declared within an hour.

ALSO READ | Hospitals setting up separate OTs for COVID-19 positive pregnant women

The advisory was however silent on the timeline regarding processing of requests for testing, the Delhi government said, adding that it has issued a notification which states all applications for tests would be processed within 48 hours. 

The bench asked the Delhi government to place the advisory and notification before it and listed the matter for hearing on Thursday, July 9.

The HC also asked whether negative outcome of a rapid test was acceptable or whether an RT/PCR test result was also required before admission. The Delhi government counsel sought time to take instructions on the query raised by the bench. The court was hearing a PIL by a lawyer who has sought that test results of pregnant women be given priority. 

The HC on June 22 had remarked that 5-7 days cannot be taken for getting COVID-19 results for pregnant women prior to admitting them in hospitals for child-birth and asked the ICMR and Delhi government to look at expediting it.



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