The Supreme Court on Friday expressed concern about the decline in the testing numbers for Covid-19 in the national capital.
“We have noticed that the Government App of Delhi (Delhi Corona app) itself indicates that the testing of Covid-19 patients has gone down in the month of June as compared to the month of May,” the court stated in its order in a suo motu (on its own) case.
It also drew a comparison with two other states, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, which, it pointed out, were testing far more. “On May 27, 2020, the number of samples tested is 6,018, on June 9 the number is 4,670, on June 11 the total testing in Delhi is reported as 5,077 whereas in the State of Maharashtra it is 16,000 and in the State of Tamil Nadu it is 17675,” the order said.
To be sure, with 277,246 tests done till Friday, Delhi has conducted 14,003 tests per million of its population, higher than Tamil Nadu’s 8,902 and Maharashtra’s 7,600. Delhi’s population, at 20 million is also much lower than Maharashtra’s 122 million and Tamil Nadu’s 75 million.
“We do not understand why the tests have gone down in state of NCT [national capital territory] Delhi. Non-testing of the patients is not a solution to the problem rather increase in the testing facility is the duty of the state, so that people may come to know about their health status regarding Covid-19 and they may take appropriate care and treatment of Covid-19,” the order said.
The top court made it clear that non-testing of suspected patients is not a solution to the problem and testing numbers should be increasing considering the fact the number of patients is on the rise.
States should ensure that there should be steep increase in the testing both by government hospitals and private labs and whoever desires to get tested should not be denied the same on any technical or any other ground.
“The States may consider simplifying the procedure so that more and more tests be held to benefit the patients,” the court added in its order.
The court also pulled hospitals across the country for the insensitive manner in which they were treating Covid-19 patients and the bodies of the victims, while issuing notices to the Centre and five states — Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.