Thiruvananthapuram: Around 40 per cent of the COVID-19 tests in the state are now being conducted at the private labs.
The average number of daily tests has touched 60,000. And 24,000 of these tests are now being carried out at the private labs. But people need to pay on their own for the tests at the private labs. About 60 per cent of the hospitals are in the private sector.
The private labs mostly conduct antigen (Rs 625) and RT-PCR (Rs 2,750) tests. The CB-NAAT and TrueNAT will cost Rs 3,000.
As per the government order, doctors’ prescriptions are not mandatory for COVID-19 tests at private laboratories. However, private hospitals ask those arriving at the labs to consult the doctor. Therefore, the individual will have to pay the consultancy fee as well.
Around 25,000 RT-PCR tests are being conducted at the 23 government labs, and 16 private labs. Of this, 10,000 samples are tested at private labs. Around half of the 35,000 antigen tests are also carried out at the private labs.
Recovery rate not low, says Minister
The recovery rate in Kerala is not low, according to Health Minister K K Shylaja.
"Patients are discharged from the hospitals in the state only when they test negative. But in several other places, patients are discharged within five or six days if they do not have any major symptoms," she explained.
Though the fatality rate is only at 0.39 per cent, it could increase.
"If people crowd around in the name of agitations, it would only lead to rapid spread of the infection. Those in the health sector should refrain from taking part in agitations during this time. The government will address all grievances," the Minister added.