2020-07-15 14:24:00

The Delhi government on Wednesday submitted before the Delhi High Court that it is not mandatory for every pregnant woman to undergo a COVID-19 test unless she is a confirmed contact or suspected of having contracted the virus.

In a fresh affidavit, the Delhi government said that even as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines, if a pregnant woman meets the criteria for COVID-19 testing, she should be tested but obstetric management would not be delayed in order to test her.

The submission before comes on public interest litigation (PIL), filed by advocate Nikhil Singhvi, seeking directions to prioritise the COVID-19 tests of pregnant women.

“It is not mandatory for every pregnant woman to undergo COVID test unless and until she is confirmed COVID-19 contact or under investigation/ suspect of COVID-19,” the Delhi government said in the affidavit.

A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, after taking note of the submissions in the affidavit, observed that enough steps have been taken by the Government of NCT of Delhi to address the prayers of the petitioner.

“We see no reason to issue any further directions in the matter. Hence, the writ petition is disposed of,” the bench said.

The Delhi government, in its affidavit, submitted that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected a large number of people, and with India having a huge population with limited resources, the ICMR has recommended the strategy.

“For pregnant women in COVID-19, guidelines issued by ICMR, we are providing obstetric care for pregnant patients with confirmed novel coronavirus disease or a pregnant person under investigation (PUI), meaning who presents with symptoms,” the affidavit said.

It also submitted that the government is trying its level best to make available and do COVID-19 testing across all sections of the population with possible and justified prioritisation.

The Delhi High Court had earlier asked the Delhi government to clarify whether it is necessary for pregnant women to undergo a COVID-19 test when they go to the hospital for delivery observing the woman, whose delivery is to be done, cannot wait for the results.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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