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The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Delhi High Court and HMJ Prateek Jalan have issued notice, in the PIL filed by Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shree Awardee and President of Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), against the Delhi Government’s order of not allowing COVID test of asymptomatic patients or pre-symptomatic patients in Delhi.
Delhi Government has been asked to give its report before the next date of hearing, i.e. 22nd June, 2020.
One more similar matter, filed by Ms. Renu Goswami, against the said Delhi Government was also taken up in which Mr. Siddharth Luthra, Senior Advocate, appeared and argued with Dr KK Aggarwal.
Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee, argued before the Hon’ble Court stating that mostly asymptomatic cases and pre-symptomatic cases and mild/very mild symptomatic cases will increase exponentially. As per the study on COVID-19, between 5% and 80% of people testing positive for COVID-19 may be asymptomatic.
By not allowing the asymptomatic patients and pre-symptomatic patients to undertake COVID-19 testing, it means the asymptomatic patients and pre-symptomatic patients will not get proper treatment and soon all asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic patients will become symptomatic.
As "silent spreaders", asymptomatic carriers warrant attention as part of disease prevention and control. The testing and follow-up of asymptomatic carriers should be expanded to include people in close contact with patients with confirmed COVID-19 and asymptomatic cases, clusters of outbreaks, and key areas and populations with a high risk of infection.
Right to health is a fundamental right of the citizens and it is not simply the right not to be unwell, but rather the right to be well. The right to health includes healthcare, which is accessible and available for the public at large. The healthcare access is the ability to obtain healthcare services such as prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases, illness, disorders, and other health impacting conditions.
To prevent the spread of disease is the obligation or duty of the State under Article 47 of the Constitution of India. Even in the case of the disease being asymptomatic, timely care attains significance and in such a situation, to wait for the symptoms of the disease to be manifested would amount to failure to discharge the constitutional obligation under Article 47 of the Constitution of India.
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA