Delhi Govt Demands Change in ICMR Guidelines for More COVID Tests

This comes a day after the Supreme Court pulled up the Delhi government for conducting insufficient COVID-19 tests. 

2 min read
A file photo of medics preparing to collect samples for swab tests from a COVID-19 mobile testing van in New Delhi.

A day after the Supreme Court pulled up the Delhi government for not conducting enough COVID-19 tests, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain stated that ICMR guidelines need to be changed if more tests are to be conducted.

The health minister reportedly told ANI, “If you want the number of tests conducted for #COVID19 to increase, then ask ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) to change its guidelines. We cannot flout ICMR guidelines that state certain conditions which are prerequisite for tests.”

Satyendar Jain’s statement was echoed by Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh who told ANI that the need of the hour is to increase the number of tests done and ICMR guidelines should be changed for that. He further added that he has written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan about the same. “Anyone who suspects they're infected should be allowed to go to pathology labs and get tested,” he said.

“More and more pathology labs across the country should be given licence and more and more testing kits should be made available to states. It should be known who is infected and who isn’t. Otherwise we would be sitting on a ball of fire, waiting for an explosion.”
Sanjay Singh, AAP MP to ANI 

On Friday, 12 June, the SC reprimanded the Delhi government over the way COVID-19 patients were being cared for, dead bodies of patients were being handled and also for insufficient testing.

The bench consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and MR Shah said, "The number of tests conducted is low in Delhi compared to Chennai and Mumbai...Why are tests so less in Delhi?" the bench said. "Nobody should be denied testing on technical reasons...simplify procedure so more and more can test for Covid," reported IANS.

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