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Delhi caps RT-PCR test at private labs, for home collection

The Delhi government on Thursday capped the cost of RT-PCR tests for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) both at private laboratories and hospitals as well as for samples collected from home. The Union territory government also slashed prices of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), according to an official notification.

The RT-PCR test at labs and hospitals has been capped at ₹300 from the earlier ₹500, while the RAT has been reduced to ₹100 as opposed to ₹300 earlier. For home collection, the cost of RT-PCR test has been slashed to ₹500 from the earlier ₹700.

According to the official notification, conventional RT-PCR test in which sample of an individual is collected by government teams and then by private sector laboratories as requisitioned by districts or hospitals will now cost ₹200.

On the other hand, samples for RT-PCT test that are collected by private laboratories for the government and processed further in the latter’s lab will now cost ₹300.

The official notification further stated that samples given to laboratories or private hospitals of collection facilities for RT-PCR test by individuals at their own expense will also cost ₹300.

Notably, the Delhi government had first capped the RT-PCR test rates at private laboratories and hospitals at ₹800 in November 2020. The prices were reviewed again and further reduced to ₹500 in August last year.

In the official notification, the Union territory government directed that all laboratories must ensure to process all collected samples within 12 hours of receipt. The positive results must be updated on the portal of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) within 30 minutes of the samples being processed while the negative ones must be updated with 24 hours from receipt of samples at the laboratory, it added.

Delhi on Thursday logged as many as 12,306 new Covid-19 cases, down from Wednesday’s 13,785 infections, according to the health bulletin data. The city also recorded the highest deaths in a day after 43 people succumbed to the virus, since June last year when the dangerous second wave was active across the country. The number of new recoveries continue to show hopes as 18,815 people recuperated from Covid-19, taking the total number of recovered patients to 16,66,039. Hindustan Times

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