‘Ensure strict compliance of guidelines’: Kejriwal directs officials after Delhi HC's questions over COVID-19 testing

The court had asked why the AAP government was conducting Rapid Antigen Testing, which has a high rate of false negative results, as the primary test.

Press Trust of India July 29, 2020 15:58:17 IST
‘Ensure strict compliance of guidelines’: Kejriwal directs officials after Delhi HC's questions over COVID-19 testing

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday directed officers to ensure strict compliance of existing guidelines on COVID-19 testing in the national capital.

The direction comes two days after the Delhi High Court asked the Aam Aadmi Party government why it was going with Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT), which has a high rate of false negative results, as the primary test for COVID-19 infection.

"Existing guidelines say that if any patient’s antigen test is negative but has symptoms, RT-PCR test must be done on him. I directed the officers today to ensure strict compliance of these guidelines," Kejriwal tweeted.

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.

According to the Delhi health bulletin, 13,701 antigen tests were conducted on 28 July while 4,843 RT-PCR tests were done on that day.

During a hearing on 27 July, the court had made it clear to the Delhi government to "strictly" follow the guidelines on COVID-19 testing as issued by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and not according to its own interpretation.

The court had also noted that the recent sero survey of the city indicated that more than 22.86 percent of the population have gone through the COVID illness without even realising they were infected as they probably were asymptomatic.

The court had also said in such a scenario how can the Delhi government go with RAT as its front line test, when its rate of false negatives was very high, with RT/PCR being recommended for only those who were symptomatic.

It had said that the ICMR has not said that testing has to be done in this manner.

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