Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has slashed the price of RT-PCR tests – the gold standard for detecting COVID-19 by two-thirds to Rs 800 in the city. Though these tests are being conducted free of cost in the national capital’s government hospitals, they can cost up to ₹ 2,400 in private laboratories. Many states, including Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, capped the cost of RT-PCR tests after ICMR said in May it would no longer regulate the price, and that this would now have to be done by each state individually. The move to slash price comes amid a third wave of coronavirus infections. Delhi has recorded 5,70,374 cases with 9,174 deaths. India recorded 31,118 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total Covid caseload to over 94.62 lakh. The number of fresh infections is nearly 20 per cent lower than the previous day. 482 deaths in the last 24 hours have pushed the total death count to 1,37,621.
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