The Odisha government on Wednesday capped the price of RT-PCR tests, the best available so far for detection of COVID-19, in private laboratories at Rs 400, the lowest in the country.
According to a notification issued by the health and family welfare department, anyone undergoing the RT-PCR test at private laboratories within the state will now have to pay a maximum of Rs 400 including the GST.
The decision followed a reduction in the cost of testing kits and other accessories, a senior official said.
The cost of an RT-PCR kit now stands at Rs 46 instead of Rs 1,200 earlier, while that of the RNA extraction kit has also come down, and laboratories have to spend a maximum of Rs 200 towards the cost of the kits and accessories, he said.
The official hoped that reduction in the price of the test will lead to an increase in testing.
The price of RT-PCR test at private laboratories and hospitals which was initially pegged at Rs 4,500, was capped at Rs 2,200 in July and Rs 1,200 in August.
The tests will be conducted by private laboratories under the supervision of Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar, following the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) guidelines, the notification said.
The state has four ICMR approved laboratories where RT-PCR tests can be done.
The state government is also planning to reduce the price of rapid antigen tests from the current Rs 450.
Both the tests are conducted at government laboratories and hospitals free of cost.
The RT-PCR tests at private laboratories in Uttar Pradesh were recently capped at Rs 700 and Rs 800 in Delhi, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
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