Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Spicejet CMD Ajay Singh during the launch of mobile RT-PCR lab at ICMR headquarters, in New Delhi, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspPTI

Key Highlights

The tests would be conducted free of cost for the people of Delhi and the reports will be available in 6-8 hours

The cost of the test is Rs 499 and it will be borne by the Indian Council of Medical Research

SpiceHealth said it will set up 20 laboratories in different parts of the country in the first phase

New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday paved the way for a free test to detect Covid-19. The real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test, which in some states costs as high as Rs 2,400, will be conducted in mobile labs at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) headquarters in New Delhi for free. 

The cost of the test Rs 499 will be borne by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). As opposed to the 24-48 hour period, the test report will also be generated in a record 6 hours after the collection of sample.

SpiceHealth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ICMR for setting up testing laboratories and collection centres across the nation. A number of portable testing facilities will be set up across the country by SpiceHealth, led by CEO Avani Singh, and GeneStore to make them available to people at large for an economical rate as part of make-in-India initiative.

While the ICMR has certified the testing kits and laboratory facilities, the mobile laboratories have been duly accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).

In Phase 1, 20 labs will be established with the capacity of processing 3,000 tests per day. Amit Shah on Monday launched the first of a series of mobile labs at the ICMR.

Shah chaired a high-level meeting on November 15 and gave 12 instructions, following a fresh spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi. The spurt in the number of coronavirus cases in the national capital was witnessed since October 28, when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time. It crossed the 8,000-mark on November 11.

The city recorded 6,746 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the total number of cases to 5,29,863, while 121 more fatalities pushed the death toll due to the disease to 8,391 in the city.

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