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Gujarat: Drive for takers of 2nd dose of Covid vaccine on Aug 1; RT-PCR rates cut

The Gujarat government had on July 14 had announced that it will be suspending vaccination drives on Wednesdays and Sundays every week. Last Sunday, the state had carried out a special drive for targetedly inoculating those involved in trade and commercial activities.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
July 29, 2021 1:54:13 am
A man gets Covid-19 vaccine dose at a vaccine centre in Ahmedabad. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Wednesday announced that the Covd-19 vaccination drive will remain open on August 1, Sunday, for second dose takers.

The Gujarat government had on July 14 had announced that it will be suspending vaccination drives on Wednesdays and Sundays every week. Last Sunday, the state had carried out a special drive for targetedly inoculating those involved in trade and commercial activities.

Patel, who also holds the Health portfolio, also announced further reduction in prices of RT-PCR test at private laboratories –
from Rs 700 to Rs 400.

“Private laboratories cannot charge more than Rs 400 henceforth. For RT-PCR testing at home or a patient at a (private) hospital where the testing laboratory’s employee has to be sent to collect the sample, it has been decided to cap the price at Rs 550, which was earlier Rs 900. Testing by private laboratories at the airports, which is used by travelers, has been reduced by Rs 1,300 — from Rs 4,000 per test to Rs 2,700,” said Patel.

The RT-PCR test costs at private laboratories have now been revised for the fifth time by the Gujarat government.

Apart from testing price caps, the minister also declared that HRCT prices, which were capped at Rs 3,000 at private imaging centres in April this year, have been further reduced to a Rs 2,500 cap. “Anyone going to a private radiologist for HRCT can be charged upto Rs 2,500 instead of Rs 3,000 (earlier). At government facilities, HRCT is free of cost,” Patel said.

Notably, Vadodara Municipal Corporation in March had capped HRCT prices at Rs 2,500.

Meanwhile, in a bid to augment health infrastructure in preparation of a possible third wave, 26 CT scan machines will be added across government hospitals in the state at a cost of Rs 87.50 crore. This includes 17 CT scan machines at a cost of Rs 42.50 crore at 17 district hospitals of the lower resolution version of 16-slice, that creates an image by taking 16 cross-sectional images and layering them on top of each other.

These machines have been provisioned for the district hospitals at Anand, Ahwa-Dang, Botad, Bharuch, Chhota Udepur, Godhra (in Panchmahal), Jamkhambaliya (Jamnagar), Lunawada (Mahisagar), Mehsana, Navsari, Rajpipla (Narmada), Surendanagar, Veraval (Junagadh) and Vyara (Tapi).

Nine other higher resolution version of 128-slice CT scan machines at a cost of Rs 45 crore have been provisioned for Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, SSG Hospital in Vadodara, New Civil Hospital at Surat, Sir T Hospital in Bhavnagar, PDU Hospital in Rajkot, GG Hospital in Jamnagar, hospital affiliated to GMERS Medical College in Gandhinagar, that is the Gandhinagar Civil Hospital, and similarly, GMERS medical college-affiliated hospitals at Gotri, Vadodara and Junagadh.

Three MRI machines at a total cost of Rs 30 crore have also been provisioned for GMERS medical college-affiliated hospitals at Sola in Ahmedabad, Gotri in Vadodara and Gandhinagar.

According to Patel, the tender process has already been started for the new infrastructural additions. “Whether a third wave comes or not, these machines will come in use for treatment of any other ailment as well,” Patel added.

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