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Meghalaya Govt to charge for COVID-19 tests

The Meghalaya Government today announced that COVID-19 tests would be charged Rs 500 to Rs 3,200 from October 16 onwards. These will not be free any more as the Central Government has stopped the monetary assistance to procure testing kits.

Announcing the decision, Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said anyone entering the State from October 16 would have to mandatorily undergo the rapid antigen test, which would cost Rs 500.

Others who have to undergo the RT-PCR, TrueNat and other COVID-19 related tests will have to pay Rs 3,200 per test. Tynsong also announced the names of nine hospitals which will conduct these tests for a fee. The ICMR and the Central Government have stopped providing assistance to States to procure testing kits from July this year and so the State Government has also decided to stop free testing, Tynsong said.

The Deputy Chief Minister, however, added that high-risk patients identified by the district surveillance teams would not have to pay for the tests. Similarly, BPL families will also not have to pay for the tests.

Tynsong further said that from October 16, food provided to patients at the COVID care centres (CCCs) would be charged. The deputy commissioners have been asked to fix the rates of food at the CCCs, he said. The option of home food is available and anyone wishing to get home food will be allowed at the CCCs, the Deputy Chief Minister added.

The DCs have also been asked to convene meetings with hoteliers and guesthouses owners to convert their properties into CCCs where patients will be lodged for a fee.

“Those willing to go for isolation in hotels and guesthouses will be charged. The prices will be fixed by the DCs along with the hoteliers,” Tynsong added. The food will, however, be free for BPL families at the CCCs. The Deputy Chief Minister said the BPL families would not be charged for their food.

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