Three days after the Supreme Court called for free COVID-19 testing by private labs, an intervention application has been filed seeking that the April 8 order apply only to economically weaker sections (EWS) of society..Dr Kaushant Kant Mishra, a Delhi-based orthopaedic surgeon, has filed the plea through Advocate Pooja Dhar. He has claimed that the Court's order directing private labs to test the novel Coronavirus at no cost will “disincentivize” them from functioning.."At a time when testing across the country has to be ramped up and the nation enters the most critical phase, the private labs have been burdened with offering free testing, ignoring the fact that the few pathogen labs which are well equipped at the time of the disaster would be actually disincentivized to continue to function."IA filed in Supreme Court.The doctor has substantiated the prayer by stating that in the United Kingdom, such tests for detecting COVID-19 by private labs are not free.“It may be noted that in the UK, private labs are charging as much as $425 per test, which is equal to Rs.32,500. Of course, for those below the poverty line or the EWS categories, the private labs could be directed to carry out free testing provided that the same is reimbursed by the Government.".Dr Mishra has stated that private labs had put COVID-19 testing on hold, until there was more clarity from the government.“As per the report in the Indian Express on 10.04.2020, Mumbai based Thyrocare has already said that it is putting its COVID-19 testing on hold until there is further clarity on the finances.”.The intervenor also states that the issue of reimbursement from the government remains unclear, and that if the government does not provide immediate reimbursement to private labs, there is a real risk that the labs may stop testing for COVID-19. This in turn will pose a direct risk to the health of persons across India through unknown transmission and contraction of the disease, the plea states..The plea also states that the government must start installing pathogen labs in local municipal and panchayat areas, so that free testing by the government can be increased..On April 8, a Supreme Court Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ravindra S Bhat directed that both government and private labs conduct COVID-19 testing free of charge.It also ordered that such tests be conducted only in National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration (NABL) accredited labs or agencies approved by the World Health Organization or the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).In its interim order, the Court noted that the cost of Rs. 4,500, being charged by private labs for such tests, was not feasible..[Breaking] Make COVID-19 Testing free of cost in government and private labs: Supreme Court (Read Order).The order was passed in a petition seeking a direction to the Centre and the authorities concerned to provide free of cost COVID-19 testing facilities for all citizens in the country.The plea sought a direction to the authorities for ramping up the testing facilities for COVID-19 at the earliest, "given the escalating mortality rate across the country".The petition had questioned the March 17 advisory of the ICMR, which capped the price for testing of COVID-19 in private hospitals or labs at Rs 4,500.