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

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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.