The Delhi High Court on September 16 suggested that the AAP government increase the RT-PCR test capacity to the maximum possible to detect COVID-19 infection, as Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) were only 60 percent accurate.
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The high court asked an expert committee, set by the Lieutenant Governor (LG), to convene a meeting on priority basis to consider the extent to which capacity of testing by RT-PCR should be ramped up. At present, the sanctioned strength of conducting RT-PCR is 14,000 per day in Delhi. The high court expressed concern over continuous rise in COVID-19 cases, with nearly 4,500 new infections reported on September 15.
"Having regard to the fact that results of RAT are 60 percent accurate, leaving grave doubt about infection in those who are asymptomatic, we are of the firm view that RT-PCR should be the way forward," said a bench of Justices. "In our opinion, Delhi government ought to focus on shoring up the capacity of testing through RT-PCR so that testing is increased through RT/PCR as much as possible," it said.
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. The court directed the Delhi government to file a status report along with a report of the committee in this regard and listed the matter for further hearing on September 30.