BHUBANESWAR: The COVID-19 tests got cheaper in Odisha as the State Government on Wednesday further reduced the cost of RT-PCR tests by private laboratories from Rs 1200 to Rs 400, the lowest in the country.
Earlier, the price of RT-PCR test by private labs and hospitals was capped twice on July 3 and August 25 bringing down the cost from a whopping Rs 4500 to Rs 2200 and then Rs 1200.
A notification issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department stated the Government after careful consideration re-fixed the maximum price of RT-PCR test by private laboratories at Rs 400, which is inclusive of GST and all other incidental charges.
"The tests will be conducted by private laboratories under the supervision of Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar, following IMCR guidelines regarding the testing protocols for RT-PCR Covid-19 tests," the notification read.
Additional Chief Secretary of Health Department PK Mohapatra said the cost of the test was slashed following the reduction in the price of testing kits and other accessories. The RT-PCR kit is now priced Rs 46 instead of Rs 1200 earlier.
He said the price of the RNA extraction kit has also come down. "The labs will have to spend maximum of Rs 200 towards the cost of kits and other accessories. The reduction in test price will help step up testing in the State. However, it doesn't include the cost for picking up samples from home," Mohapatra added.
The State Government has also decided to reduce the cost of rapid antigen tests. A notification in this regard is expected within a day or two. The antigen test in Odisha now costs Rs 450. Both the RT-PCR and antigen tests are done free of cost at Government labs and hospitals.
Although the revision of cost of RT-PCR test was done by the Odisha Government after Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, the price in Odisha is the lowest so far in the country.
While Gujarat Government slashed the price from Rs 1500 to Rs 800 on December 1, the RT-PCR test at private labs in Uttar Pradesh now costs Rs 700.
On November 30, Delhi and Rajasthan Governments had reduced the cost of the RT-PCR test to Rs 800 at private labs.