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Supreme Court orders Private Labs to do COVID19 tests for free

Supreme Court orders Private Labs to do COVID19 tests for free

The Supreme Court of India on 8 April 2020 ordered the private labs in the country to make COVID-19 testing free of cost. The Indian Government had earlier allowed the private labs to test COVID-19 after being approved by ICMR. The prices of the test are capped at Rs. 4,500.

Key Points:

  • The Supreme court ordered that the COVID-19 tests must be carried out only in Labs accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), or other agencies approved by the World Health Organization(WHO) or Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • Presently 118 government labs are performing 15,000 tests in the country, and the number of tests needs to be increased for which more private labs should be engaged.
  • The Supreme court has recommended the diversion of Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) funds towards the testing centres to reimburse the labs and make the tests free in private labs as well.
  • The Supreme Court also ordered that ICMR or state governments should provide testing kits, materials for sample collection and Personal Protective Equipment to private labs for conducting free tests.

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