Decision Maker

Anumula Revanth Reddy

  • Member of Parliament, Malkajgiri Lok Sabha Constituency

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Petitioning Dr. Harsh Vardhan

Make COVID-19 Testing Free for Senior Citizens & Subsidised for All #PatientsBeforeProfits

India is staring at one of its worst nightmares. The lives of our friends and families are at stake and our emergency response will either make or break our country’s fight against COVID-19.  Currently there are less than 130 labs in the country for COVID-19 sample testing. Finally, the government has announced that they will allow private labs to test for the deadly virus. But I was shocked to see the price cap for testing in private labs at Rs. 4500 for one person to be tested.  This is completely unaffordable even for India’s middle class. If one person shows symptoms, all members of the family need to be tested and at these rates, the COVID-19 test is beyond ones reach. It is important to make testing free for Senior Citizens and to subsidise the testing for all. Sign my petition! The Indian Council of Medical Research has recommended free or subsidised testing in these exceptional times. Every Indian cannot afford to pay this and therefore, might not turn up to get tested. It is important to answer that who will be responsible if the virus is spread through someone who had symptoms but no money to get tested?  This is setting a dangerous precedent.  Media reports say that many countries have offered these tests for free or for much cheaper than what India has announced. We have taken proactive measures to lockdown and ban non-essential travel. But we will fail if we miss out on the most crucial part - making tests accessible for ALL Indians.  This is the time to encourage people to test and not to turn people away from hospitals.  Join me in asking the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to make testing for COVID-19 free for Senior Citizens and to subsidise the testing for all. Sign and share my petition so that we can truly put #PatientsBeforeProfits.

Hamraj Singh
148,061 supporters
Make COVID-19 Testing Free for Senior Citizens & Subsidised for All #PatientsBeforeProfits

This Change.org petition started by Hamraj Singh throws open the crucial question of accessibility of Covid-19 tests for Indians. According to the official reports, till 25th March we have tested only 25,144 samples from 24,254 individuals. This is grossly low for our massive country of 1.3 billion, and even the Cabinet Secretary of India has admitted that there is a gap in the number of people who should have been monitored and the actual number. To understand how grave the problem is all State Government needs to increase the number of testing in their respective states and the Central Government should support the states in all possible ways. We need to learn from USA and other countries which are doing massive testing and are therefore able to understand the size of the problem. As a policy makers we must not let fail our people. We should not limit our self to testing only those with travel histories to foreign countries but to others too with symptoms. We need to stop community transmission at the earliest. We need to adopt a model, where we encourage more people to get tested. This will only be possible if accessibility in increased. There are limited government testing centers and the price cap of Rs. 4500 for Private testing centers are just too high and out of the reach of many Indian. In my opinion the testing should be made free in the Private Labs too and government should compensate the labs for the same. There are already around 65 positive case with one death recorded in the state of Telangana and the numbers are drastically increasing. In this time of crisis we all need to come together and work for the society. I have already promised to contribute Rs 50 lakhs of MP funds towards our fight with Corona virus and I am committed to do everything required to insure safety of the people of my state of Telangana. We have seen what loss of precious time has done to countries like Italy, Spain and Iran. We need to act now and make sure the covid-19 test is made affordable and accessible for all. I will be taking Hamraj’s petition to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to show widespread citizen’s demand for affordable testing. Yours truly, Anumula Revanth Reddy, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Malkajgiri, Telangana

3 months ago