Assam govt caps Covid test rates, relief for citizens

GUWAHATI, DEC 31 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 12/31/2020 7:58:00 AM IST

The Assam government capped RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Test rates at Rs 1,200 and Rs 500 respectively on Wednesday in view of a sharp fall in prices of testing equipment which are readily available in the market now, reports The Sentinel Assam. 

The notification issued by the state health department has brought a big relief to people of the state who had to pay up to Rs 3,500-Rs 4,500 to get their Covid tests done in private healthcare facilities and laboratories. Also Read - Assam: Mask gallery added to Sivasagar’s Barna Kutir Artists’ Village
Rs 4,500 was the maximum chargeable rate notified by the Centre earlier. The latest order issued by the principal secretary to the state health department, Samir K Sinha, had stated that the maximum rates chargeable for testing RT-PCR test samples, which are collected at the labs and hospitals, including test cost, PPE kit and other related charges, has been notified to be Rs 1,000. But Rs 200 extra might be charged if the RT-PCR test samples are collected from home.
The order has also asked all laboratories to follow guidelines issued by the ICMR from time to time. “All hospitals/ institutes/laboratories are instructed to display the revised tariffs prominently and strictly comply with the above orders.
 Non-compliance shall attract action as per the provision of law,” the order stated. It noted that the concerned district administration and health department officials shall closely monitor and enforce the rates strictly.
In government hospitals of Assam, Covid test is done free of cost, however, the government is charging Rs 1,000 if someone seeks the swab sample report within 24 hours. 
Earlier, till the month of November, the state health department used to charge Rs 2,200 for acquiring Covid reports within 24 hours. 
A senior health department official had said, “This cap for private hospitals is going to be beneficial for the public even as the government is encouraging them to come to government healthcare facilities for testing.”

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