Can you avail Coronavirus Test Free of Cost in India?

COVID-19 testing is performed in case someone has contracted the novel Coronavirus that has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Lab tests require respiratory specimens to identify and determine the virus in the human body. Amid the ongoing pandemic, the Government of India has decided to make COVID-19 testing and treatment for free at any of the government-designated laboratories.

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All health plans cover Covid-19 treatment
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      Is It Possible to Get COVID-19 Tests Done in India?

      To strengthen its resolve against the spread of the virus, the government has made the testing of novel Coronavirus free at laboratories across India that are approved by the government. However, the test is not free in private labs and hospitals. Though it is imperative to get is tested after contracting it, but it is not essential until you have symptoms, or have met someone who is COVID-19 positive or have a travel history to affected countries.

      You can call the Coronavirus helpline number if you symptoms like cough, fever, or difficulty in breathing. The process to get a free test for COVID-19 is given below:

      • Call the COVID-19 helpline number 1075 or (Toll-Free) and report your symptoms
      • In case you meet the protocols for COVID-19 testing you will need to be tested at a government-approved lab only
      • For free COVID-19 testing you can check out the nearest Government approved lab; however, if you wish to test and treat yourself in a private hospital, you will have to pay for the COVID-19 test
      You may also like: COVID-19: Coronavirus Preventive Tips

      But you can only avail free test if you meet the protocols of being tested for Novel Coronavirus. Also, beneficiaries under the PMJAY or Ayushman Bharat Yojana can avail free Coronavirus treatment and testing at any of the government-approved hospitals.

      How much does Novel Coronavirus Test Cost at Private Labs?

      COVID-19 testing at private labs in India is only possible after it is prescribed by a qualified doctor as per the guidelines laid down by the Indian Council of Medical Research. As per the ICMR guidelines, those who like to get tests done at private labs would need to pay Rs 4500 for testing. The prices were not fixed, which created a problem for people, therefore, it has been capped at Rs 4500 in which the first screening test costs around Rs 1500 and the second test costs around Rs 3000. In the second test, final confirmation is given if the person is COVID negative or COVID positive.

      Moreover, the ICMR has fortified private labs to provide COVID-19 testing either free or at a reduced rate to help people during the time of a global pandemic. And these guidelines shall be revised from time to time.

      Coronavirus test results are provided within 48 hours and some private labs that are approved by the government can also provide it in 24hours.

      You may also like: Benefits of Corona Kavach Insurance Policy for Covid-19

      COVID-19 Tests and Treatment Free Under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)

      Ayushman Bharat Yojana helps poor and destitute people to get health cover free of cost. During the coronavirus pandemic, PMJAY offers the desired protection to the poor and needy people in both rural and urban areas. People like rickshaw pullers, labour, rag pickers, and likewise can avail the best medical treatment. The scheme also covers treatment cost for the deadly novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in India.

      Moreover, under PMAJY the Government of India has made it possible for COVID-19 beneficiaries to avail the testing and treatment for COVID-19 free under the scheme. Beneficiaries of the Centre’s health assurance scheme will have access to free testing in private labs and access to treatment for COVID-19 at government empanelled hospitals.

      Through this initiative, the Government of India has made healthcare accessible to the poor and the underprivileged in the country. Responding to the pandemic, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued a notification to all health insurance providers in the country to cover the hospitalization and treatment of COVID-19.

      So, to avail free testing under PMAJY, the beneficiary once tested positive for novel Coronavirus needs to get admitted at any of the network hospitals under this scheme and get free treatment just by showing the PMJAY ecard. You can check if you are a beneficiary under PMJAY and can avail COVID-19 treatment by calling on 14555.


      While the Coronavirus is spreading at a constant pace around the world, it is of utmost importance to get the screening done in time. Early detection can save a lot of lives and reduce the chances of spreading the virus to lungs resulting in pneumonia and other organs leading to organ failure. People with pre-existing diseases and co-morbidities should get early testing done in case there are any symptoms and practice physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene to fight the disease.

      Disclaimer: Policybazaar does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.

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