COVID-19: Ensure free testing, protect doctors treating positive cases; SC tells Govt

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the government to ensure complete protection of all doctors who are treating the COVID-19 positive patients. The apex court also asked the government to ensure free testing facilities for all citizens.

A two- judge bench consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ravindra Bhatt heard the matter in two separate petitions through video conferencing.

In one of the cases, the apex court asked the government to ensure personal protection of all doctors after incidents of violence were reported from some areas such as Hyderabad.

Also Read: COVID-19: UP to completely seal 15 districts including Noida, Lucknow

The government was also ordered to provide all Personal Protection Equippments (PPE) to the medical staff and ensure that under no circumstance, their salaries are withheld.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta intimated the court of various measures being taken including establishment of hotlines at the Union Home Ministry and Health Ministry to deal with complaints.

Due to the burgeoning demand and inadequate infrastructure, the government had authorised private laboratories to test samples from patients and these entities were permitted to charge upto Rs 4500 for their services.

The Apex Court now has suggested making this free of cost to all citizens.

They have asked the government to explore the option of compensating the labs directly.

The Solicitor General said that the view of the court will be communicated to the government.

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