Team formed to ensure timely delivery of test results
New Delhi: An inquiry is in progress against eight laboratories of Delhi for testing large numbers of asymptomatic patients and delaying test results. To speed up matters and get timely delivery of test results of Covid-19 patients, the Health department of the Delhi government has formed a team of officials who will keep track of the results and also if they are being delivered within 48 hours or not.
"Any delay in the process will bring stringent action against the hospitals and the testing centres," said a government official. The Delhi government is also planning to boost random re-testing procedure of the results. The health department will take the final call on the re-testing and the department is taking up the matter with experts. This comes after Health Minister Satyendra Jain and MLA Raghav Chadha had alleged that 40 per cent of test results submitted by the centre-run RML hospital were false.
"The labs were testing more of asymptomatic patients than symptomatic ones hence the results for serious symptomatic patients were getting affected. Hence they have been served a show cause notice," said an official from the health department.
The list includes seven private labs and the government-run National Centre for
Disease Control (NCDC), all of which have denied the accusations.
Talking about shortage of beds in hospitals, Satyendar Jain said that in the last 3 days, more than 1,000 patients were admitted in various hospitals in Delhi. "If beds were not available, this would have not been possible. Even now we have close to 5,000 vacant beds. So clearly the issue is that some hospitals are not updating the data on Delhi Corona app on time or misrepresenting actual data when patients call," he added.
The Delhi government also issued a list of 56 private hospitals with 50 or more beds and asked them to reserve 20 per cent of the beds for the patients of Economically Weaker Section (EWS). The listed private hospitals had gotten land from the government at concessional rates for setting up hospitals and have been directed to ensure compliance within 3 days. Not doing the requisite reservations will bring strong action. Delhi government will take action against private hospitals for not treating poor Corona patients who come under EWS category.
"In case the compliance report is not received in this Directorate within the stipulated period, it would be presumed that the concerned hospitals is a defaulted hospitals and action under the provision of Contempt of Courts Act read with Article 215 of the Constitution of India would be initiated against the defaulter hospital ..." the order further added.
The hospitals are under an obligation to provide 10 per cent IPD and 25 per cent of total OPD free of charge to eligible patients from the EWS category.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said that all private hospitals of Delhi to reserve 20 per cent beds for patients undergoing coronavirus treatment, adding that if they do not agree to this, they will be converted into fully Covid dedicated hospitals.