In a bid to boost coronavirus testing in the state, Maharashtra government may further cut COVID-19 RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test rates.
Sources privy to the developments told CNBC-TV18 that COVID-19 RT-PCR test rates in Maharashtra could be dropped by Rs 200-300 and cut would be applicable across categories. RT-PCR tests are considered the gold standard for COVID-19 detection.
Currently, private laboratories in Maharashtra charge Rs 1,800 for collection of sample from residence. The charges for collection of sample from collection sites stands at Rs 980 and the price for collection of samples from hospitals/clinics, kiosk and quarantine centers stands at Rs 1,400. The rates are inclusive of transportation and reporting of samples.
The cut in RT-PCR test rates would be the fifth cut made by Maharashtra government and no private laboratory will be allowed to charge patients beyond the prescribed rates.
Also read: Amit Shah inaugurates SpiceJet promoters' mobile RT-PCR lab in Delhi; tests to cost Rs 499
Sources in the in Thyrocare told CNBC-TV18 said business would only be sustainable if volumes pick up along with price cuts. The margins under COVID-19 RT PCR testing have fallen to just around 10 percent from 40 percent earlier and any price cut now would take the margins lose to negligible, sources in the know told CNBC-TV18.
Maharashtra which conducts approximately 25 percent of country's RT-PCR tests is also focusing on increasing the number of tests done in the state. Maharashtra’s COVID-19 test per million stands at 60,000 as compared to country’s average of 70,000 tests.
(Edited by : Jomy)
First Published: IST