On 4 November, Delhi resident Anurag Bahl went to get an RT-PCR test for COVID-19. Bahl had tested negative on a rapid antigen test the previous day. As per protocol, he had to confirm that result with the more reliable RT-PCR. He expected that, after 10 months of the pandemic, testing systems would be working smoothly. He was mistaken.
Bahl lives in sector 7 of the Dwarka locality and went to a testing centre in sector 10 about two kilometres away.When he arrived at the centre at 8:30 am, he was told that the technician was on leave. He then went to the Bensups hospital in sector 12, another two kilometres away. The security guard denied him entry saying that the hospital did not conduct COVID-19 tests anymore. Subsequently, he went to the nearby government dispensary which was under renovation. A home guard on duty told him that no tests were being done that day. Next, he went to a polyclinic in sector 2 where he was finally tested. “There was no real-time information at dispensaries so that the people could be aware that where the test is being done,” Bahl said. He observed that people waiting at the various testing centres had no information about what time staff would begin seeing them.
Bahl was given the run around when he went to collect his report as well. “They first said there was no report under my name,” he told me. “I asked them repeatedly about my test and showed them the ID number. They said that my name was Anurag Bhai in place of Anurag Bahl in the report. They gave me one page of the report instead of two saying that they had no paper left to print the second page.” Bahl insisted on the full report and managed to get it but he is disillusioned with the whole process. “This is surprising that despite being the zonal office of Dwarka district, the sector 2 dispensary had such issues.”