VIJAYAWADA: In view of the increased availability of coronavirus testing kits and reduction in the cost of both RNA extraction and RT-PCR kits, the state government on Tuesday reduced the costs of Covid-19 tests done at private laboratories.While the samples (including pooled ones) sent by the government will be tested at Rs 475 each, the individuals who approach the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will be charged Rs 499 per test. These rates include charges for tests, VTM and PPE, a government order issued to this effect read.
This is the third time that the state government has slashed the rates since July. In August, the government had reduced the cost of testing of each government-sent sample from Rs 2,400 to Rs 1,600, and of public walk-in samples from Rs 2,900 to Rs 1,900.
In November, the administration reduced the cost of testing of each government-sent sample further from Rs 1,600 to Rs 800, and those collected directly from people from Rs 1,900 to Rs 1,000. In all, the cost of Covid-19 confirmatory tests at private labs has been slashed by 40 to 50 per cent.