PIL in SC seeks directions to exponentially increase coronavirus testing centres

New Delhi [India], Mar 21 (ANI): A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court on Saturday seeking immediate direction to exponentially increase the number of COVID-19 testing centres in the country keeping in view the health hazards of coronavirus.

The PIL was filed by journalist Prashant Tandon and social activist Kunajana Singh through advocates Ashima Mandla and Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi.

The public suit, along with a suo-moto matter on overcrowding in prisons, is listed for hearing before a three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and also comprising Justices K M Joseph and Sanjiv Khanna on Monday.

The plea sought immediate directions to the Central government to exponentially increase the number of authorised laboratories for testing for COVID-19 in order to ensure widespread accessibility for tests given the huge population of our country.

It also sought a direction to exponentially increase quarantine and isolation centres in the event of a greater outbreak.

The plea sought directions to make available temporary hospital beds and other facilities for rural patients to be 'combat-ready' for any exigency in case of a possible outbreak in rural India.

The petition also sought a direction to facilitate thermal screening at public places as a precautionary measure to contain the outbreak of COVID-19.

Currently, Centre has notified 52 laboratories set-up across the country to test for coronavirus, while keeping the privately-run laboratories outside the purview of the same. Thereby the SC should direct the UOI to increase the laboratories, the petition said.

This comes as 271 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in the country, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Saturday. (ANI)