Taking note of the differences in coronavirus testing charges in various states, the Supreme Court on Thursday, June 19, told the Centre to fix an upper limit for Covid-19 tests.
"There should be uniformity in COVID-19 test fee. In some states, it is Rs 2,200 and in some its Rs 4,500," the apex court told the government.
An SC bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah told the Centre to maintain uniformity in Covid-19 testing rates of all the state governments, and it should coordinate on this. The bench also directed the Centre to set up a committee to fix Covid testing rates state-wise.
"We will not fix a rate. You fix a rate," Justice Shah told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the government.
Mehta replied that it is better to leave it to the states, as some may be discussing to have even lower rates for testing.
The bench said, "You fix the upper limit. States will do the rest."
Justice Bhushan also emphasised that reasonable rates be fixed for Covid-19 tests, and there must be uniformity across the country.
The bench was hearing a case where it took suo moto cognizance of lapses in Covid-19 patient care and mishandling of bodies.
Amid rising Covid-19 cases in the national capital, the Union Home Ministry revised the price cap on testing for coronavirus to Rs 2,400. The new price cap for the tests -- which till now was Rs 4,500 -- was announced following directives by Home Minister Amit Shah to "provide relief to the common man".
(With agency inputs)