In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, as an increasing number of people faced exorbitant charges for COVID-19 tests and treatment, the government had brought in a cap on prices. While there had initially been a cap of Rs 4,500 on test charges, the Supreme Court had, in April, asked the Centre to make private organisations more accessible by calling for free COVID-19 tests for poor people, even at private hospitals or labs.
Since then, there have been several changes in the price structure undertaken by various states. Maharashtra had, in June reduced the price for the test by almost 50% in private laboratories, reducing the price cap from Rs 4,500 to Rs 2,200.
Now, more recently, on Monday, the prices have been lowered further. As per a notification issued by the Health Department of the Mahrashtra government, from September 7, the prices have dropped by several hundred rupees across three categories based on how they are collected.
The cost when pickup of samples is done from a collection site along with transport and reporting of sample, will now be Rs. 1200, while the cost when the sample is collected from a drive through kiosk, COVID-19 Care Collection Centre, hospital and the like, it will be Rs. 1600.
Finally, collection of a sample from the residence of the patient along with transportation, testing and reporting of sample will now cost a maximum of Rs. 2000.