Coronavirus pandemic: Supreme Court modifies ruling, says only poor eligible for free COVID-19 tests in private laboratories
New Delhi: The Supreme Court modified its earlier ruling, on Monday, and said only the poor will be eligible for free testing for the new coronavirus, COVID-19, infection in private labs. The bench agreed with the submission of the Centre that the government should not be burdened to reimburse the testing charges for all as it has already decided that the financially weaker sections covered under Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
In its order, a bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Ravindra Bhat, said free testing for COVID-19 will be available to “persons eligible under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana as already implemented by the government of India, and any other category of economically weaker sections of the society as notified by the government.”
Monday’s order modifies the court’s order last week, in which it said free tests for COVID-19 should be available to all. The private laboratories said they won’t be able to afford the cost of testing all for free. The government has authorized them to charge ₹4,500 per person for getting a COVID-19 test done.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical research has said 206,213 tests were carried out until Sunday.
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