To expedite the process of testing for coronavirus infections in the national capital, the Delhi government on Monday ordered all private laboratories to reduce the price of RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests in the national capital to Rs 800. All labs and hospitals have also been asked to display the revised rates at a prominent place within 24 hours.

According to an order issued by the health department, private laboratories have been asked to charge Rs 800 for testing samples collected by government teams and collected from collection sites by private-sector labs as requisitioned by districts and hospitals.

However, the testing of samples collected through home visit will cost Rs 1,200.

RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Test are two types of tests done to detect novel coronavirus. Both tests are done free at government testing centres and hospitals, but not at private clinics or hospitals. Currently, people have to spend between Rs 2,200 and Rs 2,400 for the RT-PCR test at private labs.

The private laboratories have also been asked to process samples, share the reports with the client (government or individual) and update all reports on the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) portal within 24 hours of collection of samples.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had directed the state Health Department to slash the rates of RT-PCR test in Delhi.

Kejriwal issued this directive on Monday, saying, “I have instructed the state health department to reduce the rates of RT-PCR test in Delhi. RT-PCR tests are being conducted free-of-cost in all government establishments. However, this notification will help those people who are undergoing tests in private laboratories.”

In the last few days, a petition was filed in the court demanding to reduce the cost of Covid testing for people. Now the Delhi CM has issued an order to slash the price of the RT-PCR test in the national Capital.

Following the instructions of the Delhi CM, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has started taking action on the proposal to reduce the rates of RT-PCR test. Jain said, “The instructions given by the Delhi Chief Minister are being acted upon with immediate effect.”

Delhi has reported 1,487 new COVID cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of coronavirus cases to 35,091 on Monday, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

(With agency inputs)

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