In a new set of guidelines for COVID-19 testing, released on July 25, the Rajasthan government has made it mandatory to add a person’s Aadhaar details in the RT-PCR mobile app, while their sample is being collected. “A lab technician, while collecting a person’s sample should mandatorily add desired details into the RT-PCR app. All lab technicians are hereby directed that Aadhaar card details of people whose sample is being collected is also to be mandatorily added to the RT-PCR app,” the guidelines said. The RT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) app is used by labs to fill data points while collecting samples. Rajasthan had a total of 9,935 active COVID-19 cases, and 621 people had succumbed to the virus as per data maintained by the Union Health Ministry at the time of publication.
While the government acknowledged that some people — “like small children” — might not have an Aadhaar, it isn’t clear what would happen if no one in a family had an Aadhaar card, and if such people can be tested. “If the person undergoing testing does not have an Aadhaar card (like small children), then one has to submit the Aadhaar Card number of older family members,” said the guidelines.
“It should be ensured that while collecting samples, a person’s “profile” be fed into the RT-PCR app. In some places, data is being updated in Excel sheets, and it might not be acceptable in the future,” it said in the guidelines. It is also mandatory for testing labs to provide the Covid-19 testing results within 24 hours. The government said that they are currently capable of carrying out 40,000 tests in a day.
In April, Odisha had made providing Aadhaar details mandatory for migrants returning to the state when the country was witnessing a migrant crisis in April, but later backtracked on the move following pressure from civil society organisations.