GURUGRAM: The Haryana government on Thursday reduced the price of RT-PCR tests and antigen tests. The cost of RT-PCR test has been slashed to Rs 900 from Rs 1,200. This is the fourth time that the government is reducing the prices of two C-19 tests. The decision has been taken with a view to encourage people to conduct tests.
On October 3, the government had reduced the charges to Rs 1,200 from Rs 1,600. On September 1, the charges were reduced from Rs 2,400 to Rs 1,600. Before this, the government had put a cap on RT-PCR tests on June 19, asking all private labs to charge not more than Rs 2,400. Private labs in Haryana used to charge more than Rs 4,500 for an RT-PCR test.
Similarly, an antigen test will now cost Rs 500 which used to be Rs 650. On August 22, the government had fixed the price of antigen tests for private labs. Elisa tests have been capped at Rs 250. The government allowed private labs to conduct rapid antigen and IgG-based Elisa testing. The costs of CBNAAAT and TrueNat tests have been capped at Rs 2,400 and Rs 2,000 respectively.
“Taking into account the cost of kits and consumables and consent of leading private laboratories, the state government, in exercise of the powers bestowed under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, directs that no private laboratory should charge any amount more than Rs 900 for RT-PCR and Rs 500 for antigen tests…” said Rajeev Arora, ACS, health department.
The order also said all the laboratories conducting C-19 testing must adhere to the guidelines and SOPs and should follow all testing protocols as laid down by ICMR and MoHFW. “Non-adherence to these orders may invoke penalty under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code,” the order stated.
CMO Virender Yadav said, “This cost is applicable only for Haryana residents. This will encourage people to come forward for more tests.” ICMR issued a circular on March 17, stating that RT-PCR tests were made available through private labs and charges were capped at Rs 4,500. “The testing kits are now being manufactured in India and are readily available. Hence, the ICMR, in a letter dated May 25, has communicated to states to negotiate and fix mutually agreeable prices,” the order said.