In a first, Union Health Ministry introduces ‘on demand’ COVID-19 testing without prescription

For the first time, the Union Health Ministry has allowed on-demand COVID-19 testing without a prescription.
The new advisory has been made on the recommendations of the National Task Force on the novel coronavirus.
“For the first time, along with more simplified modalities, the updated guidelines provide for ‘On-demand’ testing in order to ensure higher levels of testing,” read a release by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Individuals who wish to get tested and those undertaking travel to countries/Indian states mandating a negative COVID-19 test at the point of entry can get an “on demand” test.
The ministry said that the new advisory has further simplified the testing process and given more freedom and flexibilities to the State authorities to facilitate enhanced ease of testing for the people.
“A totally new section has been added in the advisory on ‘testing on demand’ which for all practical purposes does away with prescription by a registered medical practitioner although state governments have the freedom to decide on simplified modalities,” read the release.
There are now 1,647 testing laboratories operational which cover all states/UTs, the ministry said.