Test report not essential for hospitalisation: Govt tells Delhi High Court
A patient with “steady” symptoms of Covid-19 does not need an RT-PCR test report to get admitted to a hospital in Delhi, the government submitted to the high court on Monday
Anuj Aggarwal, the additional standing counsel of the Delhi government, told a bench of chief justice DN Patel and justice Jasmeet Singh that the government issued an order on April 23, directing the hospitals that all cases of moderate to severe influenza-like illness should be provided treatment in an area dedicated for suspected cases, and no patient should be denied treatment.
“It has been informed that many patients with clinical presentation of Influenza-like illness with RT-PCR negative are reporting to hospitals with moderate to severe disease. Dedicated Covid-19 hospitals are denying them admission for want of a positive RT-PCR test. Hospitals are hereby directed that all cases of moderate to severe influenza-like illness should be provided treatment as per protocol in a dedicated area to be kept for suspected cases,” the Delhi government order read, adding that no patient requiring medical aid should be denied treatment”.
The submission by the Delhi government came during a hearing on a petition by Jaideep Ahuja seeking directions to the government to order hospitals not to insist on Covid-positive reports to hospitalise patients who show symptoms of the disease.
The petitioner told the bench that the Uttar Pradesh government has a direction that hospitals should not insist on RT-PCR positive test reports for admitting patients.
The petitioner cited two instances when patients, both lawyers, were not admitted to hospitals because they did not have the Covid-19 positive report despite showing severe symptoms of Covid. The reports of both the patients were held up at the labs and were not available to them.
Advocate Anuj Aggarwal, who was representing the Delhi government, told the court that an order has been issued and hospitals have been strictly asked to comply with the directions.
Following this, the bench asked the government to widely publicise the order and ensure that it is scrupulously followed by the hospitals. The court also requested the Delhi government to increase the number of RT-PCR testing centres and to put in place the necessary infrastructure to streamline the sample collection process.
The direction was issued by the court after several lawyers told the bench that they were facing difficulty in getting tested as labs were saying they will carry out sample collection after 2-3 days. They contended that the number of daily tests have gone down to around 60,000 from the over one lakh tests that were being conducted earlier.