In a first of its kind development in India, the Karnataka government has decided to charge Rs 650 per person from passengers coming via trains and flights for the Covid-19 'pooled testing' by privately-run labs.
"The samples will be tested by pooling method (five samples in one pool as per ICMR guidelines. Each traveller will be charged a fee of Rs 650 per test by the private lab irrespective of the test result being positive or negative," Livemint quoted the government order.
For the uninitiated, 'pooled testing' involves putting multiple swab samples together, and testing them through a single RTPCR test.
If the test result turns out to be negative, everybody is declared Covid-19 negative. But if the test result is positive, everyone's samples are tested separately to identify the positive cases.
According to a Deccan Herald report, the new policy would help special categories of passengers to leave early for home quarantine after giving their swab samples at the collection centres in airports and railway stations.
According to news reports, airports would be catered by XCyton Diagnostics, while Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory, Cancyte Technologies Pvt Ltd, Aster Labs, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Vydehi Hospital and Syngene International Ltd will test the swabs of passengers entering Karnataka through rail....