Four days after the Haryana government issued a notification directing those wanting to get themselves tested for Covid for “non-medical reasons” to pay a certain predetermined rate for the test, the Gurgaon district health department is looking to “encourage” them to approach private facilities, which charge the same amount. Officials said the move is aimed at allowing government facilities to focus on people at greater risk of contracting the infection and treating them on time.
According to officials, there has been an increase in the number of people getting themselves tested at government facilities for non-medical reasons, such as interstate or international travel, requirement for employment, or admissions in educational institutions, over the past few days.
The state government has fixed the rate for testing persons under these categories at Rs 1,600 for RT-PCR, Rs 650 for Rapid Antigen Testing, and Rs 250 for IgG-based ELISA Testing. The rates are the same at private facilities.
“Testing people is not an issue but our goal is to focus on those who have a higher chance of being infected so that we can treat them on time. By conducting tests for every person who is coming, including for non-medical reasons, we have been struggling to do even antigen tests of the others because the resources start falling short. This is creating a bit of a problem because the time and resources are being spent, and those who actually need attention are often getting left out,” said Civil Surgeon Dr Virender Yadav.
“Our main focus has to be on testing those who are contacts of Covid patients or have symptoms of coronavirus. This is why we are appealing to others, including travellers, to ideally get themselves tested through private entities, which have the same rates as the government ones,” he said.
Following directions of the Haryana government to designate a “separate place/centre/area for testing of such persons, to decrease the risk of spread of such infections to such individuals”, the district health department has set up a facility in Sector 10, which began operations on Monday. Officials said “around 25” people have visited the facility on a daily basis so far.
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