SC urged to modify order on free COVID-19 testing by private labs
Petition says judgment places unfair burden on them
- An application was filed urging the Supreme Court to modify its April 8 order to make COVID-19 testing by approved private laboratories free of cost.
- The petition asked the court to allow private labs to bring back the rates for COVID-19 testing as stipulated in the ICMR advisory of March 17.
- Petition said tests could be conducted by private labs free of cost for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) categories subject to government reimbursing them immediately.
- If the government does not provide immediate reimbursement to the private laboratories, there is a real risk that they may stop testing for COVID-19, thus posing a direct risk to the health of persons across India through unknown transmission and contraction of the disease.
- Government sources have been quoted as saying that the coming week was a make-or-break week as far as testing was concerned and admitting that the private labs had far greater mobility and reach.
- Besides, many people, suspected to be COVID-19 cases, are admitted and confined in hospitals, awaiting their test results. These results are delayed because of the strain placed on the government testing system.