TN slashes Covid test charge at private labs to Rs 900

The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday slashed the Covid test charge at the private laboratories in the state from Rs 1,200 to Rs 900.

The new rate will be applicable to those who are not covered under the government-sponsored Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme. The order said that labs can charge an additional Rs 300 if samples are collected from home.

Around 1.5 lakh people undergo Covid tests in Tamil Nadu per day.

The private labs in Tamil Nadu, numbering 267, depend purely on Gold RT- PCR for testing. The state has about 69 government-owned labs where tests are done free of cost. In some districts where the demand for testing is high, the district health authorities are permitted to send the samples to private labs for testing.

For samples sent to private labs, the government will now pay Rs 550 instead of the previous ceiling of Rs 800. Labs which do pooling of samples will now charge Rs 400 per sample instead of Rs 600.

State Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan told IANS, “We have asked the district health officials to send samples to authorised private labs, so that the test results are not delayed. Increase in tests helps us identify those with Covid-19 and isolate them early. This will cut down the transmission rate.”