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COVID-19 Testing, treatment free under AB-PMJAY

Modi government has taken a big decision to combat Coronavirus crisis. Now, more than 50 crore citizens, eligible under the government's health assurance scheme - Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana - will be able to avail
free testing through private labs and treatment for COVID -19 in empanelled hospitals as well.

The major decision that can be seen as a reprieve for many as the Centre has decided to make the testing and treatment for COVID-19 available under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PM JAY). The testing and treatment of COVID -19 is already available for free in the public facilities. "The empanelled hospitals can use their own authorized testing facilities or tie up with an authorized testing facility," said a government statement.

These tests would be carried out as per Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines and by private labs either approved or registered by the ICMR. Treatment of COVID-19 by private hospitals will also be covered under the scheme.

Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PM JAY) is the flagship scheme of the Centre that provides cashless and paperless access to medical services.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told media, "In this unprecedented crisis, we have to very actively involve the private sector as a key partner and stakeholder in the fight against COVID-19. Making testing and treatment available under Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY will significantly expand our capacities by including private sector hospitals and labs and mitigate the adverse impact of this catastrophic illness on the poor." The decision has been taken to increase the supply of testing and treatment facilities as well as increase access to them by roping in the private sector through the scheme. This decision will also help attract more private sector players for providing testing and treatment for COVID-19 which is likely to be critical in case there is a surge in the number of patient that need care.

Meanwhile, as per the latest data by Health Ministry,  the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 3,374 on Sunday while the death toll rose to 77, according to Union Health Ministry data. While the number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 3,030, as many as 266 people were either cured of the disease and discharged, and one had migrated, it said.

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