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Delhi, UP, Kerala Cut RT-PCR Price – How Much Do COVID Tests Cost?

Who can get tested according to latest ICMR guidelines? Here’s all you need to know.

Published
F.A.Q
3 min read
A health worker takes samples for COVID-19 testing at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, in Lucknow, on 27 November 2020. Image used for representation.
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After the Delhi government slashed rates of COVID-19 RT-PCR tests on 30 November, other state governments including Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh followed.

With over 10 lakh tests being conducted daily across India, and the number of cases remaining less than 50,000 for the last 10 days, testing has become easier and more affordable than it was in March 2020.

So, what are the rates for COVID testing in different parts of India? Who can get tested according to latest ICMR guidelines? Here’s a state-wise break-up.

How much should I pay if I want to get RT-PCR test done from government hospital?

In government hospitals across India, RT-PCR tests to detect COVID-19 is done free of cost.

What about private labs? Does one have to pay the same for at-home and at-lab testing?

The rates of RT-PCR testing for COVID-19 at private labs is capped by respective state governments. So, the amount you have to pay for getting tested will be different in Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai, even if the lab is same.

At-home testing is slightly more expensive than going to the lab for COVID-19 testing. This is applicable across India.

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How much should one pay to get tested in Delhi?

According to an order issued by Delhi’s health department, while RT-PCR tests at all private laboratories and hospitals will cost Rs 800, home collection of samples will be conducted at Rs 1,200.

Until 30 November, the cost of an RT-PCR test was capped at Rs 2,400, whether a person visited a laboratory or opted for home collection.

Which other states have slashed prices of testing and by how much?

The Uttar Pradesh government capped the price of RT-PCR test by private labs to Rs 700. If done at home, the cost will be Rs 900.

Gujarat and Bihar governments have reduced the price of tests conducted by private laboratories for COVID-19 to Rs 800 from Rs 1,500.

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What are the prices of testing in other states like Maharashtra, West Bengal & Tamil Nadu?

  • Prices of RT-PCR rates in Maharashtra have been slashed four times and now costs Rs 980 for those who walk into a lab and Rs 1,400 if samples are collected from homes
  • The West Bengal government reduced the price of COVID tests from Rs 2,250 to Rs 1,500
  • Tamil Nadu has one of the highest prices for testing with Rs 2,500 per at-home RT-PCR test, if the person is not a beneficiary of the state’s health insurance scheme. It is capped at Rs 1,500 for beneficiaries of the scheme
  • In Kerala, the test costs Rs 2,100, down from earlier Rs 2,750

Who can get tested for COVID-19 in India?

The ICMR has revised its testing advisory saying that state governments should allow “testing on demand” for all individuals. This means that the person does not have to be symptomatic or be a primary contact of an infected person to get tested.

Do I still need a doctor’s prescription to get tested?

A doctor’s prescription will no longer be required to get a COVID-19 test, the ICMR has said.

This makes testing easier for those individuals who are travelling to other countries or within India, where a negative COVID-19 test has been made mandatory for entry.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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