On Wednesday, the Chandigarh administration has notified that the COVID-19 testing prices have been capped-RT-PCR test charges has been fixed at Rs 450 and Rapid Antigen test will be priced at Rs 350 for private laboratories in the union territory. This decision came after the administration discussed the matter with the experts and private laboratories under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897-- which directs that no private laboratories will charge any amount more than as mentioned by the administration for COVID-19 testing inclusive of GST/taxes.
"After due deliberation on the matter and advice of expert taking into account the cost of kits and consumables and consent of leading private laboratories, the Chandigarh Administration in the exercise of powers bestowed under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 directs that no private laboratories should charge any amount more than as mentioned in the table below for COVID 19 testing inclusive of GST/taxes. if any cost involved in PPE, packing transportation of samples, documentation and reporting in the city of Chandigarh", the letter read.
The letter further stated that all the laboratories conducting COVID-19 testing have to adhere to the guidelines and SOPs as mentioned and should follow the testing protocols as laid down from time to time by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (MoHFW). These orders are issued with the approval of Principal Secretary Health and will come into force with immediate effect. Non-adherence to these orders may invoke penalty under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Act.
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on Tuesday capped the fixed maximum charge of Rs 150 per dose for vaccination and revised the guidelines for implementation of the national COVID vaccination program. The guidelines stated that the price of vaccine doses for private hospitals would be declared by each vaccine manufacturer, and any changes should be notified in advance. The vaccine charges will be inclusive of 5% GST and ₹150 max service charge. PM Modi on Monday addressed the nation where he announced that private hospitals can charge up to a maximum of Rs 150 per dose as service charges after the fixed price of the vaccine.
(Image Credits: UNSPLASH/PTI)