The Delhi government in a statement to the Delhi High Court on July 15, Wednesday, said that it will not be mandatory for pregnant women to get tested for COVID-19 when they visit a hospital for obstetrical care. It further read that only pregnant women who show symptoms or are suspected to have the virus will undergo the tests. The decision comes following the Delhi HC’s appeal for clarification on the matter after a PIL was filed by advocate Nikhil Singhvi.

As per a new affidavit released by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led state government, it is stated that in adherence to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines, routine obstetrical care will not be delayed for a pregnant woman, in case she is required to be tested for COVID-19. The bench, comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, gave agreement, saying, “We see no reason to issue any further directions in the matter,” Livemint reported.

Care Will Not Be Delayed for Pregnant Women Testing for COVID-19

The affidavit also noted that this strategy will help in the management of resources, time, and patients who are undergoing tests for COVID-19. “For pregnant women in COVID-19, guidelines issued by ICMR, we are providing obstetric care for pregnant patients with confirmed novel coronavirus disease or a pregnant person under investigation (PUI), meaning who presents with symptoms,” it stated.

TOI reported that the bench has asked the government to issue directives ensuring that the entire process of testing and results for pregnant women is wrapped up within 24 hours. This will include “time taken from when a healthcare provider decides to go for Covid-testing of a pregnant woman, sample collection and declaration of results.”

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All Public and Private Hospitals to be Informed

The HC has asked the Delhi government to inform all public and private hospitals in the national capital of the new directives, with regard to pregnant women, Hindustan Times reported. It further said, “Enough and adequate steps have been taken to expedite testing and in certain cases testing is also not required.”

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Special care will be taken for a woman’s pregnancy treatments, all through the duration of her COVID testing process. In case she tests positive for the virus, she should be duly transferred to a hospital specialising in COVID treatment for further medical attention.

Tanvi Akhauri is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. 

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