As cumulative cases in Gujarat neared 1.18 lakh on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel announced the Gujarat government’s decision to slash the charges for RT-PCR tests to be conducted in private laboratories by Rs 1,000. The Gujarat government is currently aggressively testing, and encouraging people to take the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) free of cost at stations set up across the state.
Patel, who also holds the Health portfolio, declared the decision while saying that it was taken in the meeting of the core committee on Covid-19 in the state headed by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani Wednesday.
As per the latest decision, the charges for conducting RT-PCR test in a private lab will be Rs 1,500 — earlier it was Rs 2,500. Similarly, the charges for getting the samples for the test collected at home by laboratory technicians have been fixed at Rs 2,000 which were Rs 3,000 till date.
Patel said that the decision has been taken following more availability of the testing kits as well as its production.
In Ahmedabad, where more than 33,000 cases have been reported, a journalist who tested positive and wished to be admitted at the AMC-run SVP Hospital, was kept waiting for several hours, and was subsequently admitted at SAL Hospital as the journalist claimed.
A senior official of SVP Hospital however responded to the allegations, stating, “…we had many resident doctors and faculty members (test Covid-19) positive in last few days that too from core clinical branches associated with Covid-19 management and it is very difficult to manage large number of patients in such manpower scarce situation. SVP is a major contributor in Sanjeevani scheme and serving with more than 350 teams. Thus it has led to less availability of beds in SVP….we have proposed referral of such patient to Civil Hospital but he (the journalist) denied and demanded admission in SVP as a matter of right, that is not possible…”
According to an MBBS student, nearly 14 undergraduate MBBS students of NHL Municipal Medical College have tested positive as well, while being on surveillance duty for Covid-19. The college is affiliated with SVP Hospital. Most of the students to test positive were either on Sanjivani Rath duty or on duty for antigen testing.
Dr Sandeep Malhan, Superintendent of SVP Hospital, did not respond to repeated calls and messages.
Gandhinagar crossed 3,000 cases following an addition of 41 fresh cases and Vadodara crossed 10,000 cases. Among those to test positive from these two districts include Gujarat Public Service Commission chairman Dinesh Dasa and Dr Bharat Dangar, Director of Bank of Baroda and former mayor of Vadodara. Dangar tweeted on Wednesday night that following Covid-19 symptoms, he had got himself RT-PCR tested, which turned out to be positive.
Dasa too took to Twitter to announce that it has been four days since he tested positive and that he is stable and “feeling better.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines