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Maharashtra Govt Revises Rates of RT-PCR Tests at Private Labs, Fixes Rs 700 for Home Sample

Air travelers have to take an RT PCR test or present recent negative test report. (File photo: PTI)

Air travelers have to take an RT PCR test or present recent negative test report. (File photo: PTI)

A charge of Rs 700 will be applicable if a sample is collected from home and no private laboratory can seek more charges than these.

As Omicron cases The Maharashtra government has revised rates for Covid-19 RT-PCR tests conducted at private laboratories, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Monday, adding that Rs 350 will be charged for samples taken from collection centres.

Tope said on Twitter that for tests conducted at laboratories in hospitals, COVID care centres and quarantine centres, Rs 500 will be charged. A charge of Rs 700 will be applicable if a sample is collected from home, the minister added. No private laboratory can seek more charges than these, the minister added.

The public health department also issued a notification on the new rates which will be applicable at all centres, including the airport. This is the sixth time the government has reduced the price of Covid-19 tests since June 2020. From Rs 4,500 initially, the price of RT-PCR was lowered to Rs 1,600 in September, Rs 850 in December and now to Rs 500. The rate for bulk testing by government agencies has been fixed at Rs 350, a reduction from Rs 500.

CEO of the State Health Assurance Society, Dr Sudhakar Shinde who helped draft the government scheme to cap services during the pandemic told The Times of India, that the latest revision has been carried out after almost nine months. “Availability of raw materials is better. Moreover, the volume of tests is likely to go up in the next few months. We felt these factors make it the ideal time for a rate revision." The price of CBNAAT (cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test) tests has also been cut from Rs 3,000 to Rs 1,200. CBNAAT tests can detect Covid in two hours.

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Along with RT-PCR testing, the state has also revised the rates for rapid antigen tests and the Covid-19 antibodies test using the ELISA or CLIA method. As per the revised prices, an antigen test will now cost Rs 100 if a person goes to a lab or a hospital and the same test would cost Rs 150 if carried out in a kiosk or a place of mass collection, while home collection will cost Rs 250, down from Rs 300.

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first published:December 07, 2021, 08:42 IST