Fees fixed for COVID-19 tests in private labs, hospitals

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The cost of conducting a COVID-19 test in private lab has been fixed at Rs 2,200 and the fee for treatment of the infection in corporate hospitals Rs 4,000 per day.

These charged were fixed by the Telangana government on Monday.

The chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao held a review with the chief secretary and other senior officials and announced some key decisions on Sunday.

One of them is giving nod to private labs who have taken permission to conduct tests.

The fee for the test is Rs 2,200, Health Minister E Rajender told reporters here.

The charge for treatment of patients in ICU without ventilator support has been fixed at Rs 7,500 per day, while it would be Rs 9,000 per day for those who are on such support, he said.

Since the cost of some anti-viral injections is in the range of Rs 40,000 Rs 50,000, such treatment can be charged separately, he said.

The government would like to convey to the private players not to consider views of those who would like to get tested without having any symptoms, he said.

The information related to tests and those undergoing treatment at private hospitals should be shared with the government as preventive measures, including tracing of contacts and others, need to be taken, he said.

The chief minister has allowed recruitment of healthcare personnel on a temporary basis, if necessary, to conduct a survey of every house in Hyderabad for influenza like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI), pneumonia cases and others, he said.

He said Telangana is in a position to conduct about 7,500 tests per day, he said.

People should utilise government healthcare facilities and if those who can pay to go to private hospitals, they can do so, he said.

The state government has received requests from some people who wanted to choose the private sector, Rajender said.

Asked about the 50,000 tests proposed to be conducted in Hyderabad and adjoining areas as part of measures to contain the infection, he said the 50,000 tests would be conducted free of cost from the coming week to 10 days.

The government is ready to conduct more tests if necessary.

Quoting ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), Rajender said there is no community spread of the virus in Telangana.

The state has followed the guidelines of ICMR, he said.

The Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said there is no need to fear the virus and that Hyderabad is in a better position compared to other cities and states.

The government has decided to increase the number of tests as misinformation, including in the social media, has been spread about testing in the state. The government has decided also to instilconfidence in the people in this regard, he said.

The tests would be conducted for people with influenza- like symptoms, family members of positive cases, and high risk groups, including doctors and other healthcare personnel, police, government officials and mediapersons, he said.

The private diagnostic agencies should not indulge in malpractice to test many people, he said.

The state government on Sunday said it would conduct COVID-19 tests on 50,000 people in 30 assembly segments in the state capital and four adjoining districts which are witnessing a spike in new cases in a bid to contain the spread.

Chairing a high-level review meeting on COVID-19, the Chief Minister instructed officials to conduct the tests in Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Vikarabad, Medchal and Sangareddy districts over the next 10 days, an official press release said here on Sunday.

Rao also asked them to prepare guidelines for the private hospitals and laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests, treatment and the cost by following the norms, it said.

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