Meghalaya govt to charge for COVID-19 tests from Oct 16

SHILLONG, Oct 6: From October 16, the government will charge for testing of its own citizens, entrants coming into Meghalaya, both permanent residents and those coming for business purposes, the state informed on Tuesday.

“From October 16, anyone who wants to go for testing be it rapid antigen test, CBNAAT, TRUNAAT and RTPCR will be done on payment basis,” Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said.

According to Tynsong, BPL families will be exempted from payment, but the beneficiaries will have to carry their cards if they go for testing.

The Deputy Chief Minister said that people who go for testing will have to pay Rs. 3200 and Rs. 500 for rapid antigen test.

The hospitals now recognised by the government for undergoing  RTPCR, CBNAAT and TRUNAAT are – Pasteur Institute, Civil Hospital Nongpoh, Civil Hospital Tura, CHC Resubelpara, CHC Baghmara, Civil Hospital Williamnagar, CHC Khliehriat, Civil Hospital Ampati, CHC Mawkyrwat, Maternity and Child Hospital Jowai,  Nazareth Hospital, Bethany Hospital and H. Gordon Robert’s Hospital.

“Testing charges will not be applicable for high risk contacts,” Tynsong said.

Tynsong informed that the government of India since July had stopped the subsidy on testing kits asking all to pay for themselves.

“Other states have stopped this facility but we are continuing till October 15,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.

The Deputy Chief Minister, also informed that antigen tests will be mandatory for people both permanent residents and those coming for business purposes at the entry points but on payment of Rs. 500.

Tynsong said that anyone coming into the state and having certificate of testing within 72 hours of their coming into Meghalaya will be exempted from such tests.

He also informed that the government has asked the respective deputy commissioners to convene a meeting with hotel and guests house owners to ask if they were willing to convert their facilities into corona care centers.

He also said that food provided by the government in the corona care centers will be charged from October 16 even as he said that the respective deputy commissioners has been asked to work out on the rates per person per day.

“For food BPL families will be exempted form payment and we also encourage home food,” he said.