Coronavirus | Tamil Nadu caps testing fee in private sector at ₹3,000

₹500 to be charged extra for home visit; laboratories will be checked for quality

Updated - June 08, 2020 01:04 am IST

Published - June 08, 2020 12:05 am IST - CHENNAI

Patients with positive result in first round will be tested two more times.

Patients with positive result in first round will be tested two more times.

The State government, which fixed the cost of hospitalisation at private facilities for COVID-19 infection, has slashed the cost of testing to ₹3,000.

The Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project has determined that “an amount of ₹3,000 is fixed as the cost of RT-PCR testing for general public and ₹500 has to be paid as additional cost towards home visit”.

The new rates were announced through a Government Order on Friday.

Earlier, a person had to pay ₹4,500 for a test in the private sector.

Patients whose results return positive in the first round will have to be tested two more times before being declared free of the infection.

This means a patient might end up paying at least ₹13,500 for three tests.

The government has also introduced quality check measurement for laboratory tests for COVID-19 infection by RT-PCR machines, based on the Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines.

Random samples

Every fortnight, 10 samples at random will be lifted from government and private laboratories that fall under the ambit of the Directorate of Medical Education.

The laboratories will have to pick five each of positive and negative samples (throat/nasal swabs), code them and send them to King Institute of Preventive Medicine.

Health Secretary Beela Rajesh said Tamil Nadu is probably the first State to come out with such guidelines. “We need to have a quality check mechanism in place. So far, the quality control check had been completed for 17 government laboratories,” she said. The reports of the quality control checks would be conveyed to the laboratories.

The government has prescribed that the samples with CT value of 25 to 35 for ‘e’ gene screening assay must be chosen.

Director of Medical Education R. Narayana Babu said the test results from the laboratories should correlate with the results obtained in government labs. One of the aspects is to check the CT of lungs to assess their involvement in the infection. The values are chosen so that it would provide accurate results of a patient who is symptomatic. A person with values lower than 25 would be asymptomatic and one with over 35 would be seriously ill.

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