08 April 2020

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Supreme Court orders Government Make all Covid-19 tests free for citizens

Supreme Court orders Government Make all Covid-19 tests free for citizens
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Supreme Court on April 8,2020 issued interim directions to BJP Government to make COVID-19 testing in all government and private laboratories free of cost.

A Public Interest Litigation PIL was filed in the Supreme Court of India challenging the government's decision to fix the cost of the COVID-19 testing in private labs as Rs 4,500.

The petitioner, advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi, submitted that government hospitals are packed to capacity and it has become difficult for the common man to get himself/herself tested in the government labs.

With no alternative in sight, they are forced to pay money to get the tests done at private labs, the petitioner said, adding that saddling ordinary citizens with such financial burden effectively deprives them of their accessibility to medical facilities and is violative of right to life guaranteed under article 21 of the Constitution.

In its order, the SC 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."

Supreme Court bench directed the BJP Government to issue necessary directions to ensure that testing in approved government or private labs across the country is made free for all. The court has also given the Centre two weeks to file a response.

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Tags – Corona Virus Covid 19 Kit Free Supreme Court of India