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The order was passed after ICMR recommended that testing on demand be allowed for individuals.
The Delhi High Court has directed that from now on, any resident of the national capital can get himself tested through RT-PCR for COVID-19, at his own expense, without producing a doctor's prescription. (Rakesh Malhotra vs GNCTD)
The order was passed by a Division Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad after ICMR recommended that testing on demand be allowed for individuals.
The Court was hearing a petition preferred by Advocate Rakesh Malhotra concerning the rate and status of COVID-19 testing in the city.
To pass the direction, the Court also considered the data on COVID-19 cases in Delhi from August 30 to September 7 and the spike in the number of infections.
The Court has nonetheless ordered that private labs who are testing COVID-19 samples should not lax in analysing the test samples from the Government.
"It is directed that all private laboratories shall prioritise testing RT PCR samples sent to them by the Delhi Government. In the event, Delhi Government sends additional samples for testing through RT PCR to the private laboratories, the same shall also be entertained and reports given without any delay.", the Court ordered.
In case of difficulty, the Delhi Government is free to approach the Court for modification of the order, the Court has said.
During the hearing, based on the data submitted in a status report by the Delhi Government, the Court also observed that besides focussing on testing through RAT, the Government has finally started making an effort to improve testing through RT-PCR.
It was also noted that for now, nine teams had been deployed for the purposes of testing at ISBT, Sarai Kale Khan, ISBT, Anand Vihar, ISBT, Kashmere Gate, New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station, and the number would increase as more trains are deployed.
Keeping in view the increasing case, the Court further directed that the Delhi Government to ramp up the mobile van facilities at various sites including places near prominent DMRC terminals.
The matter would be heard next on September 16.
Read the Order: