New Delhi [India], June 11 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed that all the private hospitals, that have been called upon to reserve 20 percent beds for COVID-19 patients, to conduct tests on symptomatic and asymptomatic persons who seek admission for undergoing surgeries or other procedures.
The court said that the hospitals equipped with labs to conduct the COVID-19 test and have the sanction of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for the same should proceed to conduct tests.
A division bench of Justices Hima Kohli and S Prasad also asked the ICMR to file a status report indicating the number of applications submitted by accredited labs in Delhi, seeking permission to conduct COVID-19 test and the status of the said applications.
The court was informed that the non-COVID patients, who are approaching private hospitals for admission to undergo emergent surgeries and other such procedures, are not attended till they undergo a COVID-19 test, for which they have to go elsewhere.
"It is most unfortunate that non-COVID-19 patients are being made to wait to undergo tests 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 bench said.
The court said that it appears that Delhi is fast heading towards becoming the coronavirus 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," the court said and listed the matter for further hearing on June 18.
The court said that this is all the more imperative as the Delhi government has directed all the private hospitals in the national capital to reserve 20 per cent beds for admitting COVID-19 patients.
The court was hearing an application, which was filed on a petition disposed of by an order dated May 4, seeking to increase the number of laboratories to undertake COVID-19 tests and ramp up the testing process in respect of asymptomatic and symptomatic patients.
The application was filed by advocate Sanjeev Sharma on a petition filed by advocate Rakesh Malhotra.
Sharma has sought relief for directing the respondents to make arrangement of proper treatment for COVID/non-COVID patients in hospitals.
Rakesh Malhotra, the petitioner in person, had supported the application and submitted that there have been several instances where non-COVID patients are required to undergo surgery and other emergent procedures in the hospitals, and the concerned hospital requires the patients to undergo a COVID-19 test before the said procedure or surgery but are unable to conduct the test as they are not permitted to do so by the Delhi government.
Earlier, the High Court had directed Delhi government to continue updating its website on a regular basis to reflect the correct number of tests that are being conducted for COVID-19 in the national capital, with mention of the number of cases that are positive or negative and state the number of results that are pending after the tests are conducted. (ANI)