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Last Updated : Apr 09, 2020 12:28 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

SC judgment on free COVID-19 testing by private labs not practical, says Biocon's Mazumdar Shaw

Mazumdar-Shaw said testing by private labs will plummet, since they are conducting the tests at an upfront cost.

Testing of COVID-19 by private laboratories will plummet if it is made free as per the Supreme Court's April 8 order, said Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

She said making tests free is not practical as they can't wait for government reimbursements and appealed to the SC to reconsider the decision.

It could affect the ramp-up in testing, as required, she noted, adding, private labs could have done 10 percent of the testing for free.


The price of each test has currently been capped at Rs 4,500.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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"They (private labs) are not large organisations. They cannot run their businesses by giving credit to the government since the reimbursements will take time," she said.

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On April 8, the Supreme Court had said both state-run and private laboratories should make COVID-19 testing free. The SC bench, consisting of Ashok Bhushan and S Ravindra Bhat, had said the issue of reimbursement for expenses incurred

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First Published on Apr 9, 2020 12:28 pm