Home News COVID-19: What is RT-PCR test and how much does it cost?

COVID-19: What is RT-PCR test and how much does it cost?

RT-PCR test

RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests have been the most sought after tests to check for COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic in India. Many specialists consider it to be the most effective test to detect COVID-19 virus in human cells.

Even though the RT-PCR tests can detect the acute infection of coronavirus, it cannot tell whether a person has recovered from COVID-19 or if they had it in the past.

After the cases started sprouting in different parts of the country, RT-PCR tests became the norm for checking the spread of infection and trace the infected, especially among travellers.

In this test, a small amount of DNA is taken through a swab from the test candidate, which is then used to amplify specific sequences of the genetic material and diagnose if there is an infection. The swab can either be nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal, which means it can be sampled from both the nose and the throat.

This sample is then sent for the RT-PCR test, which includes many steps to convert the RNA into viral DNA. This test is specific to check for COVID-19 infection alone. If a person tests positive, it means that they have COVID-19.

Both the private labs and government facilities process the samples and share the reports with the clients and update the reports on the portal of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) within 24 hours of the sample collection.

Cost of RT-PCR

Like other diagnostic tests, the cost of the RT-PCR tests has fluctuated from the beginning of the pandemic. Most of the states in the country charge differently for the tests. Generally, anyone can get tested for free at the government hospitals and facilities. As for the private labs, they were earlier charging Rs 2400 in Delhi. It was the maximum amount that could be charged, as mandated by the Delhi government.

On November 30, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reduced the cost of an RT-PCR test to Rs 800 at private labs.

In October, the Uttar Pradesh government had also brought down the cost of an RT-PCR test from Rs 1600 to Rs 600 at private labs in the state.

This article is auto-generated by Algorithm Source: www.dnaindia.com

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