Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday announced that the state authorities have capped the charge for conducting a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) test at a private laboratory at Rs2,500.
Earlier, the maximum charge for a Covid-19 test at a private laboratory in Maharashtra was Rs 2,800, if swab samples were collected from a suspected patient’s home and Rs2,200, if collected at a hospital.
The new category has been added, as a patient who undergoes a Covid-19 test at a private laboratory also has to pay for her/his personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and transport, the minister added.
Earlier, private laboratories had fixed Rs4,500 as the fee for each Covid-19 test, when the viral outbreak was initially reported in March.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities have directed private laboratories not to share the report with a patient directly, if the s/he tests Covid-19 positive. The report needs to be shared with the BMC, which will make arrangements for a bed at a dedicated Covid-19 facility, depending on the patient’s condition.
Tope also announced that Mumbai would get an additional 150 ambulances within a week amid a growing crisis for these emergency healthcare vehicles.
At present, Mumbai has 550 ambulances, including 50 being recently donated by the Mahindra Group.
So far, 1,16,752 people have tested Covid-19 positive in Maharashtra, including 51,921 active cases.
On Wednesday, the state recorded 3,307 fresh Covid-19 positive cases and 114 deaths.
Maharashtra has been reporting over 2,000 Covid-19 positive cases daily for a month amid fears of a spike in the next 15-20 days.
“The decline is likely to start from end-June. This is based on emerging trends in other countries. The situation in the state will stabilise soon,” Tope added.
Mumbai, which continues to be the worst-hit city across the country, reported 1,359 new Covid-19 positive cases on Wednesday, as the total count rose to 61,587, including 26,997 active cases.