Price of ‘popular’ rapid PCR test slashed by ₹400 at Delhi airport, to cost ₹3,500 | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Price of ‘popular’ rapid PCR test slashed by 400 at Delhi airport, to cost 3,500

ByJasjeev Gandhiok, New Delhi
Dec 03, 2021 12:21 AM IST

Genestrings says till 7pm Thursday, over 3,000 tests were conducted, while on Wednesday, the first day of the new guidelines, around 2,100 tests were conducted.

The cost of the rapid PCR test at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has been reduced from 3,900 to 3,500, officials said on Thursday, adding that the price was slashed after finding that these tests had more takers as compared to the RT-PCR tests, which costs only 500. What makes these rapid PCR tests more popular is the rapid turnaround time, as its name suggests — a person gets a report within 45-60 minutes as opposed to the four-hour waiting time for an RT-PCR test report.

Passengers queue for document verification at Terminal 3 of Delhi’s IGI airport on Thursday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)
Passengers queue for document verification at Terminal 3 of Delhi’s IGI airport on Thursday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)

Following the new guidelines issued by the Union ministry of health and family welfare on November 26, passengers from “high risk” countries — South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel and all European countries— are now required to take a Covid-19 test on their arrival at the airport, even if they are in possession of a negative test report, obtained within 72 hours prior to boarding, or are fully vaccinated. The heightened vigilance in the country is to keep at bay the Omicron variant of the Covid virus, which was declared a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO) recently.

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Chetan Kohli, COO at Genestrings Diagnostic, which runs the Covid-19 testing facility at the Delhi airport, said almost 75% of all fliers from high-risk countries were opting for a rapid PCR test over the RT-PCR test, simply because of the reduced waiting time. “The decision to reduce the cost was a conscious one. We are not focusing on profits but to provide accessible testing to all fliers,” said Kohli.

Genestrings says till 7pm Thursday, over 3,000 tests were conducted, while on Wednesday, the first day of the new guidelines, around 2,100 tests were conducted. “The data of positive cases will be shared directly with the Delhi government,” he added.

Also Read | 4 more international travellers test Covid positive at Delhi airport: Officials

Rapid tests were launched at the Delhi airport in August 2021, at a starting cost of 4,500. Officials say over time, they have been able to reduce the cost of raw materials and testing kits. “As compared to the European market, these rates are fairly low. We have been able to optimize testing and reduce the price from the initial 4,500 to the present 3,500,” Kohli said.

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