New Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday capped the cost of conventional RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 detection in private hospitals and labs at Rs 300, a 40 percent reduction from the earlier rate, according to an order.
The earlier cost of an RT-PCR test was Rs 500. The rapid antigen test (RAT) at private facilities will cost Rs 100. Earlier, a RAT used to cost Rs 300.
According to the order, home collection of samples and testing would cost Rs 500 against the earlier Rs 700.
At government centers and hospitals, RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests are conducted free of cost. The order also said that the cost of conventional RT-PCR tests for which samples are collected by government teams and then collected by private sector labs as requisitions by districts or hospitals will be Rs 200. The cost of the RT-PCR tests for which samples are collected by private labs for the government will be Rs 300.
In November 2020, the government had capped the rate of RT-PCR tests in private hospitals and labs at Rs 800 and in August, last year it was further reduced to Rs 500.
The health department has directed all private hospitals and laboratories to display the revised rates at a prominent place within 24 hours. It has also asked private facilities to process samples within 12 hours of being received in labs. The department said for positive samples, results should be updated on the ICMR portal within 30 minutes of the samples being processed. Details of all negative samples should be on the portal within 24 hours from receipt of samples in the lab, it said.
On Thursday, Delhi reported 12,306 fresh COVID-19 cases and 43 more fatalities due to the viral disease, while the positivity rate dipped to 21.48 percent.
Delhi had logged 35 deaths and 13,785 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday with a positivity rate of 23.86 percent.
The city had recorded 28,867 COVID-19 cases last Thursday, the sharpest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic. The number then declined to 24,383 on Friday, 20,718 on Saturday, 18,286 on Sunday, 12,527 on Monday, and 11,684 on Tuesday. The positivity rate stood at 30.6 percent on Saturday, the highest in the ongoing wave of the pandemic so far, 27.9 percent on Sunday, 28 percent on Monday, and 22.5 percent on Tuesday.
The national capital has reported a total of 17,60,272 COVID-19 cases so far. A total of 1,66,039 patients have recuperated, while the death toll due to the disease stands at 25,503.