Updated on: Monday, December 06, 2021, 11:13 PM IST

COVID-19: Maharashtra Govt cuts rates for RT-PCR, rapid antigen test charged by private laboratories


Amid the threat posed by the Omicron variant, rising cases and anticipating the possibility of the third wave of Covid-19 in Maharashtra, the state government reduced the rates charged by private laboratories for RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests on Monday. The revised rates will be applicable to all laboratories recognised by the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). Public Health Department Undersecretary Archana Walzade released the government resolution in effect from December 6.

As per the government resolution, labs will charge Rs 300 per RT-PCR test instead of Rs 500 for the pick-up of every sample from the collection site, transport and reporting of sample, Rs 500 instead of Rs 600 for the collection of samples from drive-throughs, sample collection kiosks, drives, Covid care collection centres, hospitals, clinics and quarantine centres of laboratories. Further, labs will charge Rs 700 instead of Rs 800 for the collection of a patient’s sample from their residence, transport, testing and reporting. The government has clearly said that the individual laboratory will bear the cost of viral transport medium, personal protective equipment, RNA extraction and RT-PCR kits.

Further, the government has also revised the rates charged by laboratories for rapid antigen testing. Labs may charge Rs 100 per test if the patient visits the lab, Rs 150 for collection of the sample from testing centres and Rs 250 if lab personnel visit the patient’s residence for sample collection.

In case of enzyme-linked immunoassay, which is a commonly used laboratory test to detect antibodies in the blood, labs can charge Rs 200 if the patient visits them, Rs 250 if the sample is collected from testing centres and Rs 350 if the sample is collected from the patient’s residence.

The government has further said, labs for chemi-luminescence enzyme immunoassays (CLIA) test will charge Rs 300, Rs 400 and Rs 500. For cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test (CBNAAT), the government has fixed a rate of Rs 1,200 per test.

The government’s move comes in the wake of the Centre asking Maharashtra to step up its testing which had taken a dip during the festive season and thereafter.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Monday, December 06, 2021, 11:14 PM IST