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Delhi HC asks Centre to file fresh affidavit on sero-surveillance study by NCDC

ANI | Updated: Jul 16, 2020 21:13 IST

New Delhi [India], July 16 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Centre to file a fresh affidavit on the report regarding the preliminary results relating to the sero-surveillance study in the national capital by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
A Division Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and S Prasad while taking on record the affidavit of the NCDC, asked it to file a fresh affidavit before the next date of hearing, placing on record its preliminary results relating to the sero-surveillance study.
In its affidavit filed on Wednesday, the NCDC stated that the Anti Body Detection test is utilised during sero-survey studies to assess the prevalence of infection at the community level and its primarily used for evidence-based public health response.
The NCDC further stated that the sero-surveillance study is underway and it will take one more week to declare the preliminary results.
The court also asked ICMR, NABL and the Delhi government to file their respective updated affidavits within one week and listed the matter for July 27.
Meanwhile, Delhi Government counsel Satyakam told the court that 2,81,555 rapid action tests conducted since June 18 till July 15. Around 19,480 persons were found to be COVID positive.
The follow up of the RT-PCR test was conducted on 1,365 persons, who were found to be symptomatic but had otherwise been declared as COVID negative in the RAT test.
Out of 1,365 persons, who had undertaken the RT-PCR test, 243 persons had turned out to be COVID positive, the government said.

Counsel Satyakam also told the court that those patients, who are found to be symptomatic and turn out to be negative in the RAT test, are required to undergo the RT PCR gold standard test.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research apprised the court that it had received applications from 60 private hospitals in Delhi, of which 28 applications have been approved for conducting the RAT test and six of the applicants were previously granted approvals for conducting the RT PCR tests.
The ICMR also clarified that approval granted for conducting RT PCR test automatically applies for conducting the RAT test.
In all, a total of 34 laboratories have been approved by the ICMR in the national capital for conducting the RAT test and 26 applications are still pending on account of procedural formalities required to be completed by the applicants.
Considering the fact that as on July 15, there are total 1,16,993 cases of COVID-19 infection in Delhi out of which 17,807 are active cases and there are 653 containment zones as of today, the court opined that the window of one month given by the ICMR for the applicants to complete the procedural formalities is too long.
"As we have been told that the laboratories have to approach the NABL for it to conduct an inspection before completing the requisite formalities, it is deemed appropriate to direct the NABL to hasten the inspection, so that the applicants can complete the formalities required by the ICMR at the earliest," the court said.
The court asked ICMR that in the report it should also clarify its stand with regard to the timeline granted to the applicants/private hospitals in Delhi for completing the requisite formalities for being granted approval for conducting the RAT tests.
The court was hearing an application seeking to enlarge the number of laboratories that can undertake tests for COVID-19 and ramp up the testing process in respect of asymptomatic and symptomatic patients.
The application was filed by advocate Sanjeev Sharma in a petition filed by advocate Rakesh Malhotra in person that was disposed of by the Bench, vide order dated May 4. (ANI)