Mumbai: In a move to combat the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the state government has decided to cap the prices of testing kits. Through the revised prices, the testing rate in Maharashtra has gone down considerably. Additionally, the state has also decided to ply 650 ambulances in Mumbai.
Previously, the cost of COVID-19 test kits ranged somewhere between Rs 4200 - Rs 4800. But as the number of positive cases increases, in an attempt to make testing more affordable, the government has now capped the price for testing in the range of Rs 2200 to Rs 2,800, for private laboratories.
However, for the people directly visiting the laboratory, the price has been fixed at Rs 2800.
On Wednesday, the state's Health Minister Rajesh Tope announced the revised testing rates to range between Rs 2,200 to Rs 2,800. Tope additionally declared that 650 ambulances would be plying on the roads on Mumbai within a week.
Addressing the media, Tope said, "It has been decided to charge Rs 2,200 for collecting a patient's swab from the hospital and Rs 2,500 for going to the patient's home and taking a swab for examination. However, some individuals or patients prefer to go directly to the laboratory and check themselves, they will be charged Rs 2800."
"We are working on free ambulance service and our efforts are being made to make ambulances available in every ward of Mumbai. At present, there are 500 ambulances available and 50 ambulances have been procured from Mahindra Group, while 150 ambulances will be available in a week's time. Therefore, 650 ambulances will be available in Mumbai. Citizens should contact the respective ward office and register for service," he added.
Taking about employing officers in private hospitals he said, "Soon officers will be appointed and deployed with private hospitals to keep a tap on priorities patient's needs. Oxygen availability in hospital and such essential services to be given to priority patients. The officer will keep a tap of beds available in the hospital. Behind every 80 beds, one officer will be appointed to monitor it."
Concluding, the health minister said, "Additionally, 500 ICU beds will be available in Mumbai. In a week time, another 100 to 150 beds will be arranged. Around 250 additional beds arrangements will be increased at St. Georges, BKC, Seven Hill, Worli Dome. The State Workers Insurance Hospital at Kandivali will have 250 additional beds."