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COVID-19 testing: Karnataka slashes cost of RT-PCR tests by Rs 500

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The Karnataka government’s COVID-19 task force has decided to reduce the cost of the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests by Rs 500, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said on
Friday. The cost of RT-PCR tests for those referred from government hospitals to private labs have been reduced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 1,500 and for those going directly to private labs from Rs 3,000 to Rs 2,500, the DCM’s office quoted him as saying after the task force meeting.

He said, at the meeting it was also decided to purchase 20 lakh new rapid antigen test kits and 18 lakh RT-
PCR test kits. Stating that the ICMR has warned about infections increasing in state capital Bengaluru, and necessary
precautionary measures are being taken, Narayan said, it was decided at the meeting to purchase equipment worth Rs 12 crore to start 115 bed ICU at the KC General Hospital in the city.

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All necessary measures are being taken to bring down the death rate, for which certain tests should be done. If it is difficult to conduct such tests at government hospitals, it will done at private labs,the minister said.

“By doing such tests, the stage of disease can be identified so as to administer required treatment and thereby bring down the death rate,” he said, adding that plasma therapy will be extended across the state and necessary arrangements will be made for this.

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