Go for rapid antibody tests for Covid-19 with reliable kits of Indian firms: HC tells Maharashtra


By: Express News Service | Mumbai |

Updated: May 1, 2020 4:15:36 pm





The Bombay High Court additionally directed the state authorities to put on document the steps proposed to be undertaken by the state authorities to conduct rapid antibody tests with the reliable kits obtainable with it.
The Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench directed the Maharashtra authorities to undertake rapid antibody tests with obtainable reliable kits supplied by Indian corporations because the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has recognised the utility of the rapid tests for the aim of surveillance and prevention of Covid-19 outbreak.

The court docket additionally directed the state authorities to put on document the steps proposed to be undertaken by the state authorities to conduct rapid antibody tests with the reliable kits obtainable with it.

“This becomes all the more significant, considering that the results of the rapid antibody tests are said to be quick and, hence, of assistance to the state government in deciding its strategy to deal with areas where there is rapid spread or apprehension of rapid spread of COVID-2019,” the excessive court docket mentioned.

Also Read | Bombay HC allows wage cuts for absentee workers from areas with relaxed or no lockdown restrictions

A single choose bench of Justice Manish Pitale Thursday heard via videoconference varied pleas, together with public curiosity litigations searching for reliefs and medical amenities within the wake of the pandemic.

On April 8, the High Court had mentioned it might be crucial for the Union Health Ministry to think about whether or not it could possibly direct authorities to conduct rapid anti-body tests. The court docket had famous that procurement of rapid take a look at kits has been made by the Centre in components, nonetheless, their use has been placed on maintain in view of divergent outcomes of pattern tests.

On April 24, the state authorities mentioned it has requested the ICMR for extra tests kits and can search a further provide if required by native our bodies.

On April 30, Justice Pitale issued instructions to the state after authorities legal professionals S Y Deopujari and D P Thakare submitted that it had acquired 71,000 rapid antibody take a look at kits for distribution in COVID hotspots. However, in a letter on April 20, the Director of Health companies, Pune had communicated that the kits shouldn’t be used until additional orders and allotment of kits was not undertaken as per ICMR instructions, Thakare mentioned.

However, advocate Tushar Mandlekar, representing petitioners, mentioned that the ICMR communication of April 27 to chief secretaries of all states has said that the rapid take a look at kits of two Chinese corporations ought not for use and they are going to be returned to the suppliers.

Mandlekar mentioned, “The April 27 letter did not disclose any policy decision of the ICMR to do away with rapid antibody tests.”

Assistant Solicitor General Ulhas Aurangabadkar representing ICMR mentioned that its choice didn’t point out any coverage choice to cease rapid tests.

ICMR submitted, “Rapid Antibody Tests could certainly be undertaken for the purposes of surveillance, although the best test for diagnosis of COVID-2019 continued to be the RT-PCR swab test.”

In view of submission by ICMR, the bench mentioned the state authorities couldn’t refuse to distribute reliable Rapid Test kits.

Justice Pitale famous within the order, “This court is of the opinion that State is not justified in refusing to distribute the rapid antibody test kits and in not undertaking the rapid antibody tests for surveillance. In view of the imminent danger of uncontrolled spread of COVID-2019, surveillance could certainly be an important part of the strategy to control such spread of COVID-2019.”

The court docket additional noticed that the checklist of organisations offering such kits additionally consists of Indian corporations and mentioned that kits supplied by them can be utilized by the state authorities.

“In view of ICMR letter, the state government can certainly undertake Rapid Antibody Tests using kits of companies other than those stated (Chinese companies), because in respect of the specifically named two companies, the test kits were found to be unreliable,” the court docket famous.

The bench directed the state authorities to undertake rapid tests with obtainable reliable kits and directed to file a response stating the steps proposed to conduct them throughout Maharashtra.

Moreover, on Thursday, the court docket reiterated its instructions to authorities to expedite approvals for Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDL) with Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Machines (RT-PCR) at personal medical amenities, together with personal medical faculties, in order that samples may very well be examined at a sooner price in view of prevailing COVID-19 disaster.

The High Court had on April 24 requested the authorities to expedite the organising of laboratories within the distant districts of Gondia, Yavatmal, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli after the federal government submitted that the amenities could be useful solely by May 20.

Directing authorities to file response to varied pleas, the bench posted the matter for additional listening to on May 5

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