Mumbai

Maharashtra cuts COVID-19 test charges

The Maharashtra government on Monday slashed the rate charged for the clinical testing for COVID-19 by ₹200, to bring it down to ₹980. This is the fourth cut announced by the State as the original cost of the test was ₹4,500.

“While ₹980 will be levied by pathological laboratories, for tests conducted through laboratories at COVID-19 centres, hospitals, and quarantine centres, where a large number of samples are collected daily, ₹1,400 would be charged. Similarly, for testing samples collected from residences of suspected patients, ₹1,800 has been fixed,” Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

The minister said that the repeated cost rationalisations were a direct consequence of keeping with the State government’s focus to ease the burden of the COVID-19 exposure upon the common man.

Maharashtra has been emphasising upon a test and trace strategy, along with precautions like donning face masks and hand sanitisers.

“The testing ratio has improved to 70,000 tests for a population density of 10,00,000 (one million) in Maharashtra. We sought this to be further improved. We are doing everything in power to put curbs on the COVID-19 infection,” Mr. Tope said.

He further said that district collectorate officials and civic commissioners had been instructed to ensure that the rates charged by the testing centres adhere strictly to the government-approved tariff structure.

Last week, the State announced curbs on prices of masks. As per the order, N-95 masks can be sold in the range of ₹19 to ₹49 while the prices of two- and three-layered masks are capped at ₹3-₹4. The government has also fixed the price of remedesivir at ₹2,360 at the centres approved by it.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 8:34:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-cuts-covid-19-test-charges/article32948480.ece

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