The Supreme Court of India in a significant order has directed that the Covid-19 test shall be free for all citizen in Government approved laboratories.
During hearing on 08.04.2020 the bench observed:
We find prima facie substance in the submission of petitionerthat at this time of national calamity permitting private Labs to charge Rs.4500 for screening and confirmation test of COVID-19 may not be within means of a large part of population of this country and no person be deprived to undergo the COVID-19 test due to nonpayment of capped amount of Rs.4500. It is submitted before us that insofar as Government Laboratories are concerned the COVID-19 test is conducted free of cost.
The Court passed following interim directions:
(i) The tests relating to COVID-19 whether in approved Government Laboratories or approved private Laboratories shall be free of cost. The respondents shall issue necessary direction in this regard immediately.
(ii) Tests relating to COVID-19 must be carried out in NABL accredited Labs or any agencies approved by WHO or ICMR.
Read copy of order here