Bengaluru, Sep 26, 2020: The Karnataka government has reduced the cost of RT- PCR tests for COVID-19 - considered the most reliable test to detect coronavirus - saying the cost of reagents for the test has come down.
Samples sent by the government to private labs for testing will now cost a maximum of ₹ 1,200, while private samples will cost ₹ 1,600.
In July, the cost for samples sent by the government was ₹ 2,000 and those sent by private labs was ₹ 3,000. They were brought down in August to ₹ 1,500 and ₹ 2,500, respectively.
In a meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told seven states with high COVID-19 cases, including Karnataka, to increase RT-PCR tests.
Karnataka plans to increase daily COVID-19 testing from 65,000 to one lakh, Health Commissioner Pankaj Pandey told NDTV. The one lakh tests will include 60,000 RT-PCR and 40,000 Rapid Antigen Test or RAT.
He said the approximate cost for one lakh tests would be around ₹ 5 crore daily, adding the state has enough labs and support to do this.
Bengaluru will increase testing from 25,000 a day - of which 75 per cent was RT-PCR - to 38,000 a day, out of which 32,000 would be RT-PCR tests.
Hephsiba Korlapati, special officer at the municipal agency BBMP’s COVID-19 war room, told NDTV the increase in number of RT-PCR tests would be done in phases as the capacity for it was built up.