Mumbai: A day after the Central government directed all states to increase the number of RT-PCR tests in a bid to detect the deadly contagion at a faster rate, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced a reduction in COVID-19 RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test rates by Rs 280. The test which used to cost Rs 980 will now be available at just Rs 700.
Currently, private laboratories in Maharashtra charge Rs 1,800 for collection of samples from a residence. The charges for collection of samples from collection sites stands at Rs 980 and the price for collection of samples from hospitals/clinics, kiosk and quarantine centres stands at Rs 1,400. The rates are inclusive of transportation and reporting of samples.
“RT-PCR, rapid antigen, antibody rates reduced in Maharashtra. RT-PCR in a hospital/laboratory will cost Rs 850 if you walk in there, the home collection will be Rs 980. Antigen test will be Rs 500 if you go to a lab/hosp; Rs 700 for home collection. Antibody tests are in the range of Rs 300-550,” read the govt resolution.
The private laboratories were charging Rs 4,500 for COVID-19 testing during the early stage of pandemic. However, the prices were slashed to Rs 980 in September.
Meanwhile, the city doctors have not welcomed this decision of capping RT-PCR test rates for the sixth time stating the government should take all the stakeholders under confidence before taking any such decisions. “We can understand when the state government had capped the Covid-19 test rates for the first time at that time also they didn’t consult any association of doctors. So there’s no point in saying anything to the govt as they are making decisions without taking all doctors association into confidence,” he said.