By LE Desk

New Delhi, May 1: The Delhi High Court on Friday cited data to ask the AAP government to explain why COVID-19 testing has gone down drastically in the national capital.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli noted that while earlier the testing was around one lakh, now it has reduced to 70-80,000 per day.

“Your testing has gone down drastically…,” the bench said and asked the Delhi government to explain it.

Advocate Ankur Mahindroo, representing a petitioner, said there was no headway in testing and the government can start with RAT at mohalla clinics and mobile clinics but the testing shall not be stalled, news agency PTI reported.

He added that mobile vans for testing can be set up in containment zones and hospitals and such tests can be undertaken by the attendants of the patients.

The court asked the government to examine this aspect and inform it on Monday.

Delhi government counsel Satyakam said these are suggestions where the government cannot have an adversarial view.

He said, “We are testing 70,000 to 80,000 per day… We were testing around one lakh before the curfew. We were going to market places…so those 30,000 were reduced.”

He added that this was not the final explanation and they have also written to all the labs asking them not to stop the testings.

Meanwhile, the counsel for one of the oxygen refillers, Seth Air, raised the issue of running out of funds and that the allocation of oxygen made to him was much higher that its capacity and he was unable to supply it, which the court said the Delhi government has to sort out.

Advocate Abhinav Tyagi said the refiller’s payment was stuck and his outstanding bills were not being paid by the hospitals, to whom he supplies oxygen, and Delhi government and now he was not in a position to lift oxygen supplies from the supplier.

Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing Delhi government, said the dues of Seth Air will be cleared by the government at the earlier so that supply chain of the gas is not affected.

The court then asked refiller to continue with the supplies and not to shut his services, saying it will affect hundreds of people admitted in hospitals where he supplies oxygen.

Tyagi also raised another issue that the supplier Linde was now giving oxygen to Seth Air at a higher rate and he does not have funds for it. To this, the court interacted with the counsel for Linde who agreed that for the time being, the refiller can take the oxygen supplies on old rates.

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