Why were over 700 U.K. passengers not tested for COVID-19, asks HC


Only 2,292 of 3,062 passengers since December 7 tested.

The High Court of Karnataka asked the State government on Tuesday to clarify why close to 700 of the 3,062 passengers who arrived in the State from the U.K. since December 7 were not subjected to the RT-PCR test for COVID-19.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar passed the order while hearing PIL petitions related to issues that have cropped up owing to the lockdown and COVID-19 health management.

The court sought this clarification as the government’s data showed that only 2,292 were subjected to RT-PCT test.

The government data also showed that 75 passengers were yet to be traced.

Also, 19 of the returnees and 14 of their primary contacts had tested positive for COVID-19.

Nine passengers and one of their primary contacts had tested positive for the new strain of the virus.

The government also told the court that a total of ₹29,520 in fines had been imposed on seven private laboratories for delayed uploading of RT-PCR test results on the Indian Council of Medical Research portal, in violation of the guideline stipulating the declaration of test results within 24 to 48 hours.

Also, the government informed the court that 25% of the reimbursement amount — about ₹9 crore — claimed by private laboratories had been withheld following discrepancies in the maintenance of records.

The government also stated that in 24 instances of excess billing, action had been initiated against private hospitals designated for treating COVID-19 patients.

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Sagar Biswas

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