Bihar caps cost of Covid RT-PCR test at Rs 800, down from Rs 1,500
The Bihar government on Tuesday revised the maximum cap on real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, a confirmatory test for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), by private laboratories at Rs 800 per test in the state.
It also brought down the rate of rapid antigen detection tests to Rs 250. Both, RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests are used to detect Covid-19 though experts say that the latter has a probability of giving up to 40% false negative result.
It continued to allow an additional charge of Rs 300 for home collection.
People used to pay Rs 1,500 for RT-PCR and Rs 400 for rapid antigen tests earlier. These tests are done free of cost at government facilities.
Bihar has 74 testing centres for Covid-19 of which around 80% laboratories are under government sector.
“This is the third price revision for RT-PCR tests. We began with Rs 4,500 per test and gradually reduced it to Rs 2,500, Rs 1,500 and now Rs 800,” said Dr Naveen Chandra Prasad, director-in-chief disease control, health services, Bihar.
The test rates had been revised following a downward revision in other states, the order said. Delhi and Gujarat are among some states which have reduced charges of RT- PCR test.
Around 84% of the 1,47,94,415 samples tested in Bihar so far till Tuesday have been through rapid antigen while RT-PCR accounts for 12%, TrueNAT 3.5% and CBNAT 0.1%, said government officials requesting anonymity.
Till Tuesday, Bihar reported 2,36,098 Covid-19 cases and 1,268 deaths since the first fatality to the pandemic in the state on March 21. It had 5,464 active cases, with 97.15% recovery and 0.5% mortality rates. The bed occupancy in dedicated Covid hospitals, dedicated healthcare care centres and Covid care centres was around 1.04% out of the 38,710 beds available in the state.
The state’s case positivity rate was 1.6% even as Patna reported 18% positivity rate last week, the highest among 38 districts.
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