The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday urged the Supreme Court to withdraw its free coronavirus test order.
The ICMR insisted the free-of-cost interim order passed on April 8, may work to the detriment of the cause the country is fighting.
The ICMR said the decision to involve private labs in the process of testing was taken after extensive deliberation with the national task force on all aspects.
“The Central government, after elaborate and extensive discussions and deliberation with subject experts from various fields, took an administrative decision to involve private labs while imposing price cap for them to ensure that they do not charge more and cannot exploit the citizens,” it said in its affidavit.
“It is, therefore, submitted that final relief is incapable of being granted and only on this ground the ad-interim order deserves not to be continued,” the ICMR added, seeking dismissal of the petition seeking free tests for all citizens.
The apex body for the formulation and promotion of biomedical research insisted, while keeping factor of the resources not being unlimited as a pre-dominant factor, the government also considered the hardship which can be faced by the poor section of the country in the process of testing.
ICMR informed the top court that unlike other routine tests being conducted in labs at the will and wish of the citizens, these tests would be conducted only after a qualified physician certifies need for such a test, and this protocol applies to both – government and private labs.
“In view of this position, our country will have to depend upon the import of all these components. This is the problem faced by most of the countries in the world and these patent components are manufactured by few countries only which are out of India”, said ICMR.
The medical body said that Rs 1,500 is meant for screening and Rs 3,000 for confirmatory tests, if necessary.