Covid-19 Tests Should Be Free Of Cost, Says Apex Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday suggested that all tests to identify coronavirus positive patients should be conducted free of cost and asked the Central government to look into creating a mechanism for providing reimbursement for the same.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, while hearing a PIL via video-conferencing, suggested that the test should be conducted free of cost in the identified private laboratories and said that the court will pass appropriate order on the matter.

The apex court was hearing a PIL filed by lawyer and petitioner Shashank Deo Sudhi seeking direction to the Centre and other respective authorities to provide free of cost the testing facility for COVID-19 to all citizens in the country.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that 118 laboratories were doing 15,000 test capacity per day and added that 47 private laboratory chains have also been involved for the same.

During the hearing, the court asked the Centre to ensure private labs don’t charge a high amount for the test and suggested that the government can create an effective mechanism for reimbursement from the government for tests.

Mehta said that they will look into the suggestion and will try to devise what can be done best.

Sudhi, on the other hand, submitted that testing of coronavirus is very expensive and therefore the Central government should take all necessary steps to provide free of cost the testing facility for COVID-19 kits and others to all citizens in the country.


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