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State News

Jun 13, 2020

Maharashtra govt reduces the rates of Covid-19 tests by private lab

Maharashtra government has reduced the rates of the Covid-19 tests conducted by private laboratories. Announcing the decision, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope today said that the lowering of rates for the tests would provide a relief to the people. He claimed that the new rates will be the lowest in the country. Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra has breached one lakh mark. The state not only has the highest number of COVID - 19 cases in the country but accounts for about one third of the total cases reported in India. 

AIR correspondent reports, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope today said that the state government has reduced the rates of the COVID-19 tests conducted by private laboratories from the earlier Rs 4,500 to Rs 2,200. He said Rs. 2200 will be charged for collecting the swabs through viral transport media (VTM) from hospitals, while it would cost Rs 2,800 for collection of swab from home. Earlier, the charges were Rs 4,500 and Rs 5,200 respectively. 

Tope said the revised rates are the maximum these labs can charge. He added that district collectors can negotiate with private labs to reduce the rates further. The minister said if the private labs charge more than the prescribed upper limit, legal action would be taken against them. He said that at present, there are 91 labs in the state for COVID-19 testing and about four to five are in the pipeline. 

The minister said the kits required for conducting the tests were earlier being imported when the charges of tests at private laboratories were fixed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at Rs. 4500. However, as the kits are now being manufactured in the country itself, the ICMR had conveyed to hold talks with the private laboratories and fix the new test rates. 

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