The RT-PCR test is considered the gold standard for detecting the status of Covid-19 infection.
A total of 3 crore healthworkers from across the country are expected to be vaccinated in the first phase vaccination drive.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced that there will be a cap on the rate of RT-PCR Covid test in the state now, news agency ANI said on Twitter. With this announcement, West Bengal joins states such as Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh that have slashed the rate of the corona tests at the private labs and hospitals. The RT-PCR test is considered the gold standard for detecting the status of COvid-19 infection. While antigen test may give the result faster, chances of a false negative or positive are extremely high.
Now, the private labs and other health institutions won’t be able to charge more than Rs 750 for the RT-PCR tests. Earlier, the same test used to cost Rs 1,250. This would encourage the people to go for RT-PCR to get accurate results. Low cost of testing can help avert bigger disaster and may help in breaking the chain of coronavirus, several health experts have said.
Meanwhile, Bengal’s COVID-19 tally mounted to 8,576 with 49 more patients succumbing to the virus on Thursday, the health department said in a bulletin. The coronavirus tally, too, rose to 4,93,316 with 3,246 fresh cases, it said. So far, 4,60,634 people have recovered from the disease, including 3,257 since Wednesday, improving the discharge rate to 93.38 per cent.
West Bengal now has 24,106 active cases, the bulletin said. The deaths were reported from Kolkata (12), followed by eight in Howrah, six in South 24 Parganas, five in North 24 Parganas, four in Hooghly and three in Nadia, among others. The single-day fatalities include Principal of the College of Medicine and Sagar Dutta Hospital, Hasi Dasgupta. Her death was condoled by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who recalled Dasgupta’s dedication to work. The state tested 44,130 samples for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of such clinical examinations to 60,02,928, the bulletin added.