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Doctor plea to modify Supreme Court order on free tests

He pleaded that free testing should be restricted only to people from Economically Weaker Sections and that too for an reimbursement by the govt
According to a directive issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on March 17, private labs conducting coronavirus tests were allowed to charge upto Rs 4,500.

Our Legal Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 11.04.20, 10:18 PM

 A Delhi-based medical practitioner from Vasant Kunj on Saturday moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking a modification of its April 8 order directing private laboratories to conduct free Covid-19 tests.

Kaushal Kant Mishra pleaded that free testing should be restricted only to people from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and that too for a reimbursement by the government.

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In the application moved through advocate Pooja Dhar, which is expected to come up for hearing next week, Mishra has pleaded that the apex court order would “disincentivise” the private labs. He further wanted the government to set up its own testing labs in all municipalties and panchayat areas to counter the present situation.

According to a directive issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on March 17, private labs conducting coronavirus tests were allowed to charge up to Rs 4,500.

However, the apex court on April 8 while acting on a PIL directed that private labs conduct tests for free as they have a national philanthropic duty during the present calamity.

According to the petitioner, the present pandemic numbers in India are gradually increasing, and are likely to see severe spikes in the coming weeks. This is the point at which testing capacities must be at their maximum so that government efforts to contain its spread can be suitably supplemented.



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