Biocon's chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has called the Supreme Court's judgment to make coronavirus test free "impractical to implement". The chairperson of the country's largest biopharmaceutical company has appealed to the apex court to reconsider the judgment.
Shaw, in a tweet, called free coronavirus testing, "Humanitarian in intent but impractical to implement - I fear testing will plummet".
According to Shaw, the court's decision will severely affect testing. Besides, "private labs cannot be expected to run their businesses on credit", Shaw added.
The Supreme Court on April 9 directed that private labs should conduct coronavirus tests free of cost. At present, private labs charge Rs 4,500 for screening and confirmation tests for COVID-19.
Sandeep Parekh, managing partner Finsec Law Partners, also said that "The SC's order will be that hubris ridden decision - which will strike at the heart of a healthy future of India. Forcing the private sector to offer a Rs 4,500 per person service for free will mean they will simply stop service".
Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at ICMR Raman R Gangakhedkar said a total of 1,21,271 tests for COVID-19 have been done in the country so far. Out of this, 2,267 tests were done in private labs.
As many as 65 private labs have been approved by the government to conduct COVID-19 tests, Gangakhedkar added.