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COVID-19 tests should be free in govt and private labs: Supreme Court

COVID-19 tests should be free in govt and private labs: Supreme Court

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 08 Apr 2020, 10:02 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the government to ensure that the novel coronavirus tests must be conducted for free at all state-run or private diagnostic labs across the country.

While hearing a Public Interest Litigation, the apex court on Wednesday ruled that while coronavirus tests are already free at government hospitals, private labs should not be allowed to charge up to Rs 4,500 for the test amid the ongoing crisis.

"We find prima facie substance in the submission of petitioner that at this time of national calamity permitting private Labs to charge Rs 4,500 for screening and confirmation test of COVID-19 may not be within means of a large part of population of this country and no person be deprived to undergo the COVID-19 test due to non- payment of capped amount of Rs 4,500," the Supreme Court said.

"The private hospitals including laboratories have an important role to play in containing the scale of pandemic by extending philanthropic services in the hour of national crisis," it added.

"The question as to whether the private laboratories carrying free of cost COVID-19 tests are entitled for any reimbursement of expenses incurred shall be considered later on," the top court added.

At present, there are as many as 5274 COVID-19 positive cases in India with 149 deaths recorded so far, as per government data.

However, the country of 1.3 billion people, still accounts for a low rate of testing.

As per reports, India is conducting just 10 to 11 thousands tests per day that have amounted to around 1.2 lakh tests in the entire country till date - a significantly small number compared to the huge population.


 

COVID-19 tests should be free in govt and private labs: Supreme Court

India Blooms News Service
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