The Maharashtra government on Monday reduced the cost of RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test to a minimum of ₹980 from ₹1,200. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the private laboratories in the state will follow the new prices from Monday itself.
He also directed the divisional commissioners, municipal commissioners and collectors to ensure the implementation of new rates. Further, he added that it must also be ensured that no one is overcharged.
The testing at government laboratories will continue to be free. Tope also said that the government has decided to reduce the testing charges after holding discussions with the laboratories and the state task force.
All the private laboratories have been directed to strictly adhere to the revised rates. He said that now the test would cost ₹980 if one directly visits the laboratory to get tested. For all those who want a sample to be collected from hospitals or homes, they would be charged ₹1,400 and ₹1,800 respectively.
The state task force had submitted a recommendation for reduction of the costs of RT-PCR tests. It will ensure that there are cheaper kits available in the market.
With the increasing cases, it is important to increase testing per million. It is expected that a possible second wave in the winter months ahead might follow up. At present, the state's tests per million are 62,000 against the country's figure of 70,000. The experts have already stressed on more testing in the state. The state task force has pushed for a more aggressive strategy to keep the pandemic in check.
With the relaxation of restrictions in the festive season, it is recommended to have walk-in test facilities in order to increase the testing.