The Supreme Court today directed the government to provide free of cost coronavirus (COVID-19) tests to people with low-income.

The court directed Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Health and the Department of Health to provide free of cost COVID-19 tests to those who have less than Rs 275,000 annual income.

Supreme Court also asked the government to provide such facilities to those below extreme poverty line or those who arrive from the districts that are highly affected by COVID-19 or those who have returned home from countries other than India with annual income less than Rs 700,000.

A group of lawyers including Advocate Santosh Bhandari filed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for which the single bench of Justice Tej Bahadur KC issued a stay order to this effect in response.

The apex court has directed concerned authorities to attend the next hearing which has been scheduled for Sunday.

The bench was responding to the writ petition that demanded free of cost COVID-19 to every citizen of the country as basic health rights guaranteed in the constitution of Nepal.