RT-PCR tests are free in government hospitals.

Health worker collecting swab from a manImage for representation
Coronavirus COVID-19 Friday, April 30, 2021 - 09:09

The Kerala government has slashed the cost of RT-PCR tests in the state from Rs 1,700 to Rs 500. From now on, all private centres doing the test should abide by the updated rate, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday. RT-PCR is considered as the gold standard test in confirming coronavirus infection.

“It is all inclusive of test kits, PPE, swab charges etc. Reduced rate is applicable to all ICMR & State Govt. approved private labs and hospitals. Govt. hospitals are conducting these tests for free (sic),” Pinarayi Vijayan said in a tweet.



The cost was slashed as the test kits, developed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), are now made available at a reduced rate, said Health Minister KK Shailaja. While earlier, the rates were reduced to Rs 1,500 following a High Court order, it was again increased to Rs 1,700, the Minister added.

Meanwhile, the state government has mooted more measures to ensure the availability of medical oxygen in the state. Dedicated oxygen war rooms will be opened at state and district level as part of this, the state government said in a release.

Nominees from departments like police, health, transport, industries, disaster management and Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) will be part of these war rooms. Ernakulam district, which has the highest number of active COVID-19 patients (48,107) in the state, began the functioning of oxygen war rooms on Thursday.

To monitor the level of medical oxygen in the state, a committee headed by the Home Secretary has also been formed. The state government has also informed that to make the management of medical oxygen more transparent, an oxygen module would be prepared and will be uploaded in the COVID-19 ‘Jagratha’ portal for the public to view.

On Thursday, in an all time high of daily active cases, Kerala reported 38,607 new patients, taking the total number of active patients under treatment to be 2.84 lakh.


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