Provide easily accessible and free COVID-19 testing across India.

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In spite of a global pandemic that continues to ravage the world, India has tested under 3,000 people/million population. That’s 0.3% of the population, as compared to 5 - 10% of the population for many other countries.  https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Trends have shown that the more we test, the more we find. And when we continue to test, the cases come down because we are more effective in finding the virus and isolating it. 

80% of people spreading it to others don't know they are infected, and not testing enough is the sort of mistake that every country which witnessed a mass explosion of cases has made.

Testing has to be free like it was in South Korea. Otherwise, the potentially infected will decide against it for monetary reasons. 

Assuming  the testing cost absorbed by the government is Rs. 2,000 per person and even if 5% of our population is tested, the total test cost comes up to only Rs. 13,700 crores

In comparison, the government’s mitigation efforts and financial stimulus packages themselves are worth much, much more than this.

It’s the classic difference between prevention and cure.

THE APPEAL

Scientists the world over are unanimous that ramping up testing is critical to know the ground reality and take timely action.

We need access to free testing and many more sample collection centresacross the country. South Korea encouraged people to come and take the tests. It didn't tell people who can and can't be tested. It made it clear that being tested was a right and not a privilege. Eventually, it reigned in the virus without shutting the country down.

The lockdowns have meant huge sacrifices made by the government as well as the people of India, and the results hinge on rapid upscaling of testing.

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