Karnataka govt to charge Rs 650 for those coming by flights, trains for COVID-19 test

Alphonse Joseph

Bengaluru, May 30: Karnataka Health Department on Friday said that the state government would charge Rs 650 per person for pool testing by private labs for coronavirus, making it one of the first states to do so in the country.

According to the state health department, swabs of tests conducted on passengers who are coming through rail and flight into the state would be collected at airports, railway stations and hotels by private labs and would be sent for testing by RT-PCR method.

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In an order, the health department said, "The samples will be tested by polling method (five samples in one pool as per ICMR guidelines. Each traveller will be charged a fee of Rs 650 per test by the private lab irrespective of the test result being positive or negative."

Pool testing of samples refers to testing of five samples at the same time to increase the number of tests conducted by the laboratories. The state government's decision comes ahead of to improve the participation of Indian Council of Medical Research approved private labs since most of them were running at suboptimal levels.

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Xcyton Diagnostics has been assigned to collect samples of domestic and international air passengers at the airport while Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratories, Cancyte Technologies Private Limited, Aster Lab, Narayana Hrudayalaya Lab, Vydehi Hospital and Syngene International Limited are all set to collect swabs from people arriving through trains.

In a recent development, people arriving from other states have been the main reason for the surge in coronavirus cases in the state. People who returned from Maharashtra account for more than 1,000 of the total 2,781 cases in the state.

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