COVID-19 free test only for EWS: SC

COVID-19 free test only for EWS: SC

Agency News

New Delhi, Apr 14: The Supreme Court on Monday modified its April 8 order, which had stated that all Novel Coronavirus infected patients can get themselves tested in private laboratories for free.

The apex court bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, said the free COVID-19 tests can only be availed by those belonging to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), including those enrolled under schemes like Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana.

The Court further said that Private laboratories were free to charge for COVID-19 testing from those, who can afford to pay for testing fees, as fixed by ICMR.

The Government may issue any direction for reimbursement of costs of free testing for COVID-19 to private laboratories, the bench observed. The Centre had said that 157 government labs and 67 private labs are currently conducting COVID-19 tests.

It said 10.7 crore poor families are enrolled in Ayushman Bharat Yojana and were eligible for cashless testing of COVID-19 at private laboratories.Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ravindra Bhat passed the order through video-conferencing. (UNI)