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Overpriced RT-PCR test at Kerala airports: CM directs Health department to intervene

The direction was issued during the Covid review meeting held on Friday. The Chief Minister directed the health department to take necessary measures to reduce the high cost of RT-PCR in airports.

Published: 05th February 2022 03:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2022 03:29 PM   |  A+A-

The Kochi airport . (File photo)

The Kochi airport . (File photo)

By Express News Service

THRISSUR/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With increasing complaints of the overpricing of RT-PCR tests at airports, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed the health department to ensure that the rapid RT-PCR test in airports should be made affordable for passengers.

The direction was issued during the Covid review meeting held on Friday. The Chief Minister directed the health department to take necessary measures to reduce the high cost of RT-PCR in airports as NRIs had complained about the situation. Complaints on overpricing have come from Kozhikode also. 

Recently, a Congress leader from Thrissur had also lodged a complaint at the PM's office seeking intervention into the high cost of RT-PCR  test in Cochin International Airport. At a time when RT-PCR costs Rs 500 in the state, the Cochin International Airport charges nearly four times the amount for the test, looting the public to make a huge profit, said Shaji Kodankandath in the complaint.

After receiving the complaint, the PMO directed the state government to take the necessary steps. The state government sent the letter to the health secretary to address the matter. 

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As per the health department, private companies have been given the contract for carrying out Covid tests at airports. The cost of a rapid RT-PCR test at present is Rs 2,490 in CIAL while for the same in Kozhikode is Rs 1,350. Similar overpricing of RT-PCR tests were also reported in Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram airports as well. 

Kochi airport handles roughly 100 international flights per week, each carrying around 200 passengers. A back-of-the-envelope calculation with that and the present price shows that the companies doing RT-PCR tests at the airport will get crores of rupees in profit. 

Meanwhile, international travelers who arrive at the airport were forced to take the test even if the same was available at a lesser cost outside. The latest decision will be a huge relief for international passengers arriving in Kerala.
 



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