An investigation is underway against eight laboratories in Delhi to test a large number of asymptomatic patients and delay the results of the tests. The Delhi government has told laboratories that this is against the protocol of the Indian Medical Research Council and that it will not send samples to these laboratories until further notice.
The list includes seven private laboratories and the prominent government laboratory NCDC (National Center for Disease Control), all of which have denied the charges.
The Delhi government has alleged that a large number of asymptomatic people, after being tested positive, occupy beds in private hospitals instead of isolation. This has resulted in a shortage of beds for those who really need them, the government said.
“The window shopping for beds has started since the day we launched the app. There are very few people really in need. We receive many calls with requests for beds,” said Delhi’s Minister of Health. , Satyendra Jain, referring to “Delhi Corona”. app, designed to help people find the state of the total number of hospital beds and ventilators.
The minister said that what made the situation worse was that some laboratories were delaying the results of the coronavirus tests, which caused great inconvenience to people. “Earlier also, they were given strict instructions to report within 24 hours,” he added.
The NCDC responded to the government’s third party notice, stating that the ICMR protocol applies to a collection center where individuals can be tested. The NCDC does not collect samples, they are sent in batches by different state governments, the laboratory said.
The NCDC also said it doesn’t take a long time to deliver results. There may be a delay if the pressure is high. But they delivered the test results even in six hours, the laboratory said.
The government also accused the RML hospital, run by the central government, of giving 45% of false results and delaying the results for up to 31 days. The hospital issued a statement, stating that there was a 7-14 day gap when the resampling was carried out by the Delhi government and that is why the positive results ended up being negative later.
“They do quality checks with AIIMS and NCDC and our results are accurate,” said the press release.
The RML also said it was processing more tests because there were more people from hotspots or clusters. The hospital said it currently has no case backlogs. It happened earlier when the kits were not available.
The Union’s health minister also criticized the Delhi government’s allegation against RML and tweeted: “It is not fair to play politics instead of controlling the spread of Corona. This will weaken the fight from India vs. Corona. Just for cheap promotion on TV, Satyendar Jain shouldn’t blame a reputable institution. He should rather focus on improving Delhi’s health services. “
As of Wednesday, Delhi had conducted nearly 2.3 lakh tests in 15 governments and 22 private laboratories. Delhi has performed over 11,000 tests per million, which is well above the national average of 2,800 tests per million.