The Delhi High Court on Thursday said it was need of the hour that all private hospitals equipped with labs to test for COVID-19 and having ICMR sanction for the same be permitted to conduct the test for the coronavirus.
A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said Delhi is fast heading towards becoming corona capital of the country, "an epithet the city can well do without", and it was need of the hour to allow private hospitals with labs to test for the virus without loss of any time.
The high court noted that non-COVID patients, who are approaching private hospitals for admission to undergo emergent surgeries and other such procedures, are not admitted coronavirus test for which they are compelled go elsewhere.
"It is most unfortunate that non-COVID patients are being made to wait to undergo test 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 high court directed that all the private hospitals that have been called upon to reserve 20 per cent beds for admitting COVID-19 patients, are equipped with labs to conduct coronavirus test and have sanction of ICMR to do so, "should proceed to conduct tests on symptomatic and asymptomatic persons, who seek admission in the hospital for undergoing surgeries and procedures of other nature as well".
The order came on the application by advocate Sanjeev Sharma who contended that there have been several instances where non-COVID patients needing surgery or emergent procedures are required to undergo testing before that, but hospital concerned is unable to conduct the test as they are not permitted to do so by Delhi government.
The application, filed through advocate Rakesh Malhotra, has also sought a direction to the Delhi government and all the hospitals and nursing homes permitted to treat COVID-19 cases to daily publish on their respective websites the status of vacancy of beds so that patients need not run from pillar to post for the same.
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