- Private labs in Karnataka to charge Rs 2,250 per test from govt
- Nearly 50% less than ICMR-recommended maximum price
- Private labs agreed at the price after negotiations
- State plans to increase the number of tests
This is half the maximum price limit set by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The ICMR had said that laboratories should not charge more than Rs 4,500 per test.
In a circular issued on April 17, health and family welfare department of the government of Karnataka said that the price has been fixed after meetings and negotiations with private laboratories. Of the four conditions set by the state government to permit private labs for COVID-19 testing, one is the cost per test. It specifies that the total cost includes the screening test and the confirmatory test. It also clarifies that the government will not provide any testing kits and other accessories needed for carrying out the tests.
The private labs will also have to follow all the protocols laid down by the government of India and share the test data real time with the state government and ICMR.
Karnataka has 15 ICMR laboratories. While 11 are in the public sector, five are private labs.
The circular also highlights the importance of early detection and talks of an urgent need to rope in more private labs for testing COVID-19 samples