COVID-19: SC orders free testing by govt & private labs

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In a significant development, the Supreme court today directed that Covid-19 tests be done free of cost in both government and approved private laboratories.

A Bench headed by Justices Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Ravindra Bhat asked the government to pass immediate orders to ensure free testing for Covid-19.

The SC order came in response to a PIL that challenged the government’s decision to fix the cost of a Covid-19 test in private labs at Rs 4,500.

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The Bench observed that it found prima facie substance in the submission made by the petitioner that a charge of Rs 4,500 for a Covid-19 test may not be within the means of a large section of the population.

The Bench also observed that no person should be deprived of getting the test done because of inability to pay the cost.

The apex court further said that whether private labs are entitled to any reimbursement for the expenses incurred for Covid-19 tests will be considered at a later date.

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