A health worker sorts samples obtained from passengers for the Covid-19 test at Nizamuddin Railway Station in New Delhi, on 25 November 2020 | Kamal Kishore | PTI
A health worker sorts samples obtained from passengers for the Covid-19 test at Nizamuddin Railway Station in New Delhi, on 25 November 2020 | Kamal Kishore | PTI
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New Delhi: Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government Monday slashed the price of RT-PCR tests, considered the gold standard for Covid-19 screening.

The price has been cut by nearly 70 per cent — to Rs 800 from Rs 2,400 — for samples collected at labs, while for samples collected during home visits, it has been halved to Rs 1,200.

The order was issued by the Health and Family Welfare department. Delhi government officials told ThePrint that the order comes into effect immediately.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced there would be price change on Twitter Monday morning, but had not specified the amounts. Responding to the tweet, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain posted: “Sir. We will issue orders immediately.”

The order, a copy of which has been accessed by ThePrint, stated that private labs shall mandatorily collect the samples from the testing sites as requisitioned by the government team (District CDMO or hospital).

“Processing of samples, sharing the reports with the client (Govt or individual) and updation of all reports on ICMR Portal will be ensured latest within 24 hours of collection of samples,” it further read.

It also mentioned that all labs/hospitals will display the revised rates at a prominent place, latest within 24 hours of the order being issued.

Delhi is currently going through a third wave of Covid surge. At 35,091, it currently has the third-highest number of active cases in India. So far, 9,066 deaths have been reported in the national capital. In the last 24 hours, 4,906 people tested positive for Covid-19.


Also read: ‘Results of 18 Nov RT-PCR tests awaited’ — Covid surge sees delays, Delhi officials blame labs


Delhi not the first to cut prices

Various states including Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Jharkhand, have already slashed prices of the RT-PCR test.

The Gujarat government had in September slashed RT-PCR prices to Rs 1,500 from Rs 2,500.

In Tamil Nadu, which conducts only RT-PCR tests, the price is pegged at Rs 1,500 for beneficiaries of the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. It is Rs 2,000 for non-beneficiaries. An additional Rs 500 is charged for door-step sample collection, irrespective of the price category.


Also read: Delhi govt didn’t take timely preventive measures to contain Covid cases, Centre tells SC


 

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1 Comment Share Your Views

1 COMMENT

  1. Extremely bad move, now private firms will stop providing the tests and there will be shortage of tests. Governments and the bureaucrats need to understand that profit is a good motivator for innovation and quality. These socialist ideas have kept us backward and poor. Remember the days when one had to wait for decades to get a phone connection or gas cylinder.

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