Free tests only for the poor, clarifies SC
- The Supreme Court modified its April 8 order to clarify that free testing for COVID-19 shall continue to be made available to the poor eligible under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
- Free testing would also be made available to any other category of economically weaker sections of society as notified by the government from time to time, the court said.
- Private labs would continue to charge the Indian Council of Medical Research rates of up to ₹4,500 for tests from people who can afford to pay.
- It is clear that the benefit of free testing by a person can be availed only when he or she is covered under any scheme like the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
The plight of persons belonging to economically weaker sections of the society, the government may consider as to whether any other categories of persons belonging to economically weaker sections of society can be extended the benefit of free testing of COVID-19.