Home Minister Amit Shah has inaugurated free COVID-19 testing facility in the capital. The real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test, which in some states costs as high as Rs 2,400, will be conducted in mobile labs at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) headquarters in New Delhi for free.
Shah on November 23 inaugurated a mobile COVID-19 RT-PCR Lab at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in New Delhi, jointly launched by SpiceHealth and the ICMR, said a statement from the Home Ministry.
The test cost, which is Rs 499, will be borne by the ICMR. The statement read, "This testing lab and more such labs which are planned to be set up, shall help in adding more capacity to COVID-19 testing. The lab is accredited by NABL and approved by the ICMR. RT-PCR tests are most decisive and crucial for COVID-19 testing. These tests will cost Rs. 499/- and the cost of testing will be borne by the ICMR."
The test report would be available within 6 to 8 hours from the time of sample collection compared to the average 24 to 48 hours taken by similar test reports.
SpiceHealth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ICMR for setting up testing facilities and collection centres across the country. The first testing facility has been set up in Delhi, with 10 labs being established in the first phase. The statement added, "At the outset, each lab would be able to test up to 1,000 samples per day and testing would slowly be ramped up to 3,000 samples per day per lab."
Delhi has a total of 5.3 lakh coronavirus cases with 8,512 deaths, as of today.