Maybe re-look advisory barring repeat of RTPCR on COVID positive patients: HC to ICMR

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday suggested to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) that it may need to re-look its recent advisory which said RTPCR must not be repeated on an individual who tested positive by either Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or RTPCR.

Justice Rekha Palli asked the counsel for ICMR to take instructions on the issue saying “maybe you need to re-look your advisory”.

The suggestion by the court came while hearing a plea by a lawyer who has challenged the advisory as due to it, neither he nor his family members could get tested again after spending more than 17 days in quarantine from April 28 when they first tested positive.

The lawyer told the court that without a COVID negative report the civil defense guards outside his residence were not permitting him to go out for even basic essential items and when he tried to get tested at a lab, they declined to test him due to the May 4 advisory of ICMR.

During the hearing, the counsel for Delhi government said things should improve by tonight as the restrictions are expected to be relaxed.

The Delhi government lawyer said that the petitioner’s area at Sultanpuri here was a containment zone and that was also a reason why people were not being allowed to move out.

The petitioner has contended that the May 4 advisory was “arbitrary, discriminatory and creates a paradoxical situation since a negative RTPCR report is compulsorily required by several other notifications issued by the respondents (Centre, ICMR and Delhi government)”.

He has sought striking down of the clause in the advisory which bars repeating of an RTPCR test on someone who has already tested positive.

The petition also seeks directions to the Delhi government to permit testing of the petitioner and his parents.