Madras HC closes plea seeking direction to authorities on setting up mobile COVID-19 testing booths

Chennai, May 15 (PTI) Expressing satisfaction with the steps taken by the Centre and State governments for conducting COVID-19 tests, the Madras High Court on Friday closed a petition seeking a direction to authorities to set up mobile testing booths.

A division bench recorded the submission of senior central government panel counsel who said the plea was filed without being aware of the fact that mobile testing was not a feasible one.

The PIL was filed by advocate A Amal Antony who also wanted the court to direct the state to form a committee to help the homeless and pavement dwellers and to conduct COVID-19 tests on them and provide appropriate medical treatment, besides making RT-PCR testing free or to charge an affordable fee of Rs 500 or less.

According to petitioner, the tests that have been done by the government for COVID-19 was not sufficient to meet the requirements of the masses, on account of the density of the population of the State.

The petitioner also submitted that the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in collaboration with the Employees' State Insurance Corporation Medical College and Hospital, Sanathnagar (Hyderabad) has developed India's first COVID-19 sample collection mobile lab-- 'Mobile BSL-3 VRDL Lab', which was approved by ICMR, and the facility may be extended to the downtrodden people.

The Centre submitted that between January 25 to May 6 , 91,985 RT-PCR Kits, 38,038 RNA extraction and 22,900 VTMs were supplied to the Tamil Nadu government.

The Kits were duly approved by agencies including US-FDA besides being validated by NIV-Pune for conducting COVID-19 tests.

The State also on its part filed a detailed counter explaining the steps taken to test the COVID-19 affected people.

'A perusal of the counter and the status reports makes it clear that the Central and State Governments have been taking all necessary steps for extending COVID-19 testing facility to more and more people day by day.

Thus, the prayers sought for by the petitioner are satisfied,' a bench of Justices Vineet Kothari and Pushpa Sathyanarayana said and closed the petition.PTI COR BN WELCOME BN WELCOME