Days after the government brought the cap on Covid tests to Rs 1,600 per sample, private labs have called for the lifting of the price cap, saying that they are not able to buy materials required for Covid testing at a cheaper price.
In a letter to Additional Chief Secretary (Health), the labs said that the rates were revised without any prior information or consultation and as a result, they had to stop testing. “Following the price cap, we had to cancel all standing orders, return all the materials in our stock as we cannot afford testing within Rs 1600 as our cost involved is around Rs 2,200 per sample. We are also returning good quality stocks that were procured for testing and are still not able to find material supplies for testing at a cheaper rate so that we could afford to test at Rs 1,600 cap. We shall be grateful if you can suggest some quality supplier who can fulfil our needs of testing within the same price,” the letter read.
The labs owners also said that besides testing, they offer additional services like home and hospital sample collection, urgent reporting, walk-in patient sample collection and state portal data entry and ICMR portal entry, which requires additional costs.
Meanwhile, the total number of Covid tests reached 75 lakh Saturday, government said.