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Am I Eligible for getting a Free COVID-19 Test in the India?

To support the war against coronavirus, the authorities in the India have announced various measures to make the testing simpler for everybody. This includes free testing at all government-designated laboratories. Those who have coronavirus health insurance can also get the facility of free tests at the network hospitals. Most of the health plans also cover the treatment costs to some extent.

Who all are eligible for free COVID tests in the India?

The following are the categories that are eligible for free tests in India.

  • Patients with symptoms in the facilities for long-term care
  • Patients with symptoms having underlying conditions
  • Patients with symptoms who are 60 years old and above
  • Patients who are hospitalized
  • Those who came in contact with an affected person and are showing symptoms
  • Those people who have returned from a trip and are showing symptoms
  • Emiratis as well as their domestic help no matter they show symptoms or not
  • Those people who fall under the high-risk categories like elderly people, pregnant women, and those suffering from chronic illness
  • People of determination
  • Residents who are showing symptoms or signs of COVID-19

In case you do not fall under any of the above categories; however, you have developed certain symptoms, kindly let your supervisor know and look for medical attention.

You can also call on the following helpline numbers designated by the government and the report symptoms you have noticed.

  • COVID-19 helpline number: +91-11-23978046 or 1075 (Toll-Free)

What happens after the testing is complete?

In case the result of the test is negative, the quarantine period of 14 days begins while following any one of these 2 tracks.

  • The test should be repeated in case the symptoms start to show during the 14-days quarantine.
  • In the case of no symptoms showing after 14 days, you can resume your normal lifestyle.

In case the result of the test is positive, the isolation period of 14 days begins. You need to follow the steps below.

  • Your situation will be assessed. If you are stable, you will either be asked to isolate at home or shift to a designated isolation facility. If you are unstable, you will get isolated in the hospital.
  • The test will get repeated on Day 10 and 12 counted starting from the first day of the test. The test will get repeated within 24 hours till the time 2 consecutive negative results appear.
  • The period of isolation will end after 14 days, with no signs or symptoms left, and after getting 2 consecutive confirmed negative tests.

The people having health insurance policy including COVID-19 may have the option of claiming the expenses of the treatment in most of the cases.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has stated that they had already started expanding the scope of coronavirus testing for limiting its spread and maintaining the health & well-being of all the community members.

They have been directing that those people wish to get tested must go to the testing centers in their local vicinity, after getting an appointment scheduled. Moreover, people living in the high-population areas can also get a visit from private labs for running their tests in the security of their houses.

Cost of the COVID-19 test in private labs

Covid-19 testing is done at private labs all over India but they are possible only after it is prescribed to you by a qualified & reputed doctor. The guidelines are laid by the ICMR also known as the Indian Council of Medical Research. The costing of COVID-19 tests in a private lab would be Rs 4500/- only. Earlier, the prices were not fixed and that became and issue for the people. It was later decided to keep it fixed at Rs. 4500/- only. The first test will cost Rs 1500/- and the second test would cost around Rs. 3000/-.

The Indian Council of Medial Research has also stated that COVID-19 testing should either be free or should be at a nominal rate which would help the people during these troubled times. The guidelines will also be revised from time to time. The COVID-19 test results are also provided within 48 hours whiles some private laboratories which are approved by the govt. can provide the test results in around 24 hours.

Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)

This cover helps the poor and the needy get the health cover free during these horrifying times. The PMJAY offers protection in rural and urban areas for the people who are very poor and needy. People such as rag pickers, laborers, rickshaw pullers, etc. can avail any medical treatment under this scheme. The scheme was introduced as to cover any cost for the COVID-19 treatment. People can have access to free testing as well as treatment in many government hospitals and private labs.

Also helping the government is the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India also known as IRDAI which has issued a notice to all the health insurance companies to cover the treatment and hospitalization of COVID-19. To avail this free testing under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or PMJAY, the receiver must once bet tested positive for the Novel Corona Virus and he/she needs to be admitted in one of the hospitals that come under the network hospitals by showing their PMJAY ecard. You can also check you are a receiver under this scheme by calling the following number – 14555.

Process of Testing

In case you need to or want to get a coronavirus test done, you can book an appointment by calling on the numbers mentioned above. The authorities will test the ones on priority who are suspected to be affected by the novel virus and the ones who seem to be the most vulnerable to it, like pregnant women, those having chronic illness, and elderly people. Those with health insurance plans can check with their providers for the process and the criteria for things related to COVID-19.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 07 December 2020
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