COVID-19 Tests: ‘RT-PCR is the Way Forward,’ HC Tells Delhi Govt

Delhi HC noted that the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is only 60% accurate and RT-PCR is the way forward.

2 min read
A medic collects samples for COVID-19 testing in New Delhi. Image used for representational purposes. 

In a bid to ramp up COVID-19 testing in the national capital, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 16 September, asked the state government to convert community halls and Mohalla Clinics into testing facilities.

Noting that the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is only 60% accurate, a division bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad questioned: “Why are you waiting for the false negative report in RAT to proceed to the next step (RT-PCR)?”

"We are of the firm view that RT-PCR is the way forward," the court said while also requesting an expert committee constituted by the Lieutenant Governor to hold a meeting immediately to consider ramping up of RT-PCR testing capacity.

The court directions came during a hearing on a Public Interest Litigation filed by advocate Rakesh Malhotra who sought increased COVID-19 testing and speedy results in Delhi.

The court was informed by Director General of Health Services Nutan Mundeja that mobile testing facilities have been started at a few Metro stations.

The court noted that one fourth of the total tests conducted last week were RT-PCR and the rest RAT.

In an affidavit filed through its counsel Satyakam, the Delhi government said that there are 79 mobile testing teams active in 11 districts of the national capital.

The government further said that Geospatial Delhi Limited (GSDL) has been requested to undertake the mapping of fixed-site testing facilities for COVID-19 in Delhi.

The high court had earlier asked the Delhi government to get locations of various testing facilities displayed at prominent places, including entry and exit of Metro stations for public awareness.

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