At a time when the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is showing no signs of slowing down, the Centre has decided to allow the use of accredited private labs for testing the virus.
Indian Council of Medical Research director-general Balram Bhargava confirmed to The Times of India, on Monday, that around 50-60 private labs, accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Laboratories, can proceed with testing for Covid-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has globally hit 182,547, with 7,164 reported deaths across 157 countries.
The outbreak in India has now reached the eastern state of Odisha as well with first case of Covid-19 infection reported yesterday, taking the total national count to 124.
At present, only government-owned labs are permitted to test the coronavirus.
Here's how much testing for coronavirus will cost you:
People testing positive for coronavirus infection can be tested for free in government laboratories. The government bears this expense which ranges to around Rs 6,000 - Rs 1,500 for screening and Rs 4,500 for re-confirmation.
However, patients testing in a private lab will have to shell more money. According to Times of India, testing at private labs may cost between Rs 9,000 and Rs 12,000. The government may have to decide whether private players will charge as per their costing model or at subsidised rates.