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Swab collection not confined to ENT specialists, HC told

The order on April 8 drafting the services of ENT specialists and residents working was altered the same day by a demi official (DO) letter, allowing the deployment of rapid response teams (RRTs) and ENT teams for sample collection, said the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday.

Swab collection not confined to ENT specialists, HC told
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Chennai

The submission was made before a division bench comprising Justice R Subbiah and Justice Krishnan Ramasamy hearing a plea moved by the Tamil Nadu Government Medical Laboratory Technicians Association seeking to restrain the State from making the association members take samples of suspected COVID-19 patients. The bench is poised to pass orders on the plea on Thursday. The counter by the Ministry stated that since the DO letter delineated a national level strategy for outlining the role of medical colleges in surveillance and containment in affected and non-affected districts along with detailed SOP for RRTs, the earlier letter confining the testing to ENT specialists was withdrawn on April 13.

The association had submitted that lab technicians were not qualified to collect throat and nasal swab samples to test, and that only qualified ENT doctors should be engaged for it. Referring to the Centre’s guidelines that qualified personnel alone can collect samples, the association submitted that making its members take the samples would amount to violation of medical rules.

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