The Delhi High Court has directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to frame standard operating procedures (SOPs) to deal with post COVID-19 complications relating to the lungs and other vital organs in those who have recovered from the coronavirus infection.
The high court said that in view of the new coronavirus strain in the UK, from where a large number of people arrived before the Centre suspended the flights between the two countries, the Delhi government should "ensure prompt and adequate testing and follow up in respect of those found positive with all seriousness to avoid another spate of infection in the city". The new strain can spread faster.
The directions were issued by a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad while hearing a PIL by advocate Rakesh Malhotra seeking increase in the COVID-19 testing numbers in the national capital and getting speedy results.
Mr Malhotra, during the hearing, told the court that there should be some SOPs for managing post COVID-19 complications in those who have recovered from the infection.
He told the bench that persons who have recovered from the COVID-19 infection continue facing serious health issues and are finding it difficult to go back to normal life
Subsequently, the bench directed that the Expert Committee already constituted by the Delhi government shall examine the aforesaid aspect and come up with a SOP, which will be given wide publicity.
"Needful shall be done within two weeks. A copy of the SOP shall be filed along with the next status report," the court said to the Delhi government, represented by additional standing counsel Satyakam, and listed the matter for further hearing on January 14, 2021.
The court, in its order, also took note of the district-wise data of COVID-19 infections in the national capital and the submission by the Delhi government that it was "enhancing contact tracings and creating more containment zones" in areas where the positive rate is higher.
The Delhi government also told the court that in a meeting held on December 21 by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), it was decided that the "representative testing" shall be followed and the focus would be more on pockets where the positivity rate is more.
According to the status report filed by the Delhi government, as of December 19 the positivity rate was below 2 per cent in all districts except north-west where it was 2.12 per cent.
After perusing the status report, the bench said that while following the "representing testing" suggested by DDMA, Delhi government "shall ensure that testing through RT-PCR remains higher than through Rapid Antigen Testing.
RT/PCR, short for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction, is a laboratory technique widely used in the diagnosis of genetic diseases and to measure gene expression in research.
The court on December 3 had directed the Delhi government to "focus on testing and tracing" to deal with the COVID-19 infection numbers in the national capital, as the "fear factor" regarding the virus was "huge" in the minds of people.
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