COVID-19: SC orders free of cost COVID-19 test by the private laboratories

THE Supreme Court today directed that the COVID-19 tests should be done free of cost both in the government and the approved private laboratories.

A two-judge bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Ravindra Bhat also directed that the tests relating to the COVID-19 must be carried out in NABL accredited labs or any agencies approved by World Health Organisation or Indian Council of Medical Research.

Further, the apex court also directed the central government to issue necessary directing in this regard.

The above directions were passed by the court in a Public Interest Litigation filed by advocate Shashank Neo Sudhi.

In his plea, the advocate Sudhi had challenged the decision of the central government to fix the cost of the COVID-19 testing to be Rs 4,500 at private labs.

The court noted that no person should be deprived to undergo the COVID-19 tests de to non-payment of capped testing fees of Rs 4,500.

The court observed, “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”.

“…. 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 court added.

Read the order here:



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