I was able to pass a deep link for the expo dev client - something like exp://127.0.0.1:19000/--/path/into/app?hello=world - by passing it as detox launchApp() method argument. But what happened was that since the dev-client wasn’t connected to the expo development server, it couldn’t load the app.
In essence, the deep link would’ve worked only after the app is connected to the dev server. It cannot be used to connect to the server in the first place.
The exact solution I was looking for is still not found.