Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Airline major SpiceJet promoter founded healthcare company SpiceHealth on Monday said it will conduct the Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test for Covid-19 starting at Rs 499.

The move is set to drastically reduce the cost of the RT-PCR test which ordinarily cost upwards of Rs 3,500.

The RT-PCR is the most commonly used and the most accurate Covid test worldwide.

Besides, the report of the RT-PCR test will be made available within just 6 hours from the time of sample collection as compared to the average 24-48 hours taken for similar test reports at present.

As per a company statement, SpiceHealth and GeneStore will jointly establish mobile molecular diagnostic testing facilities across the country as a Make In India initiative.

"The testing kits and laboratory facilities have been certified by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the mobile laboratories have been duly accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)," the statement said.

"A significant proportion of the tests will be conducted in collaboration with agencies of the Government of India and state governments."

Earlier, the company entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the ICMR for setting up testing facilities (laboratories) and collection centres across the nation.

The first testing facility has been set up in Delhi.

"Each testing laboratory will have the capacity to process 3,000 test reports a day to start with," the statement said.

"Many more such testing facilities will come up in different parts of the national capital as well as the rest of the country in the coming days."

The first mobile testing laboratory at the ICMR, AIIMS, was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in the presence of Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan, SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh, and SpiceHealth CEO Avani Singh.

Avani Singh said: "Despite being the world's second most-affected country by Covid-19, with over 9 million reported cases so far, India has found it challenging to scale up RT-PCR testing for the virus. We are proud to be able to contribute to our country's efforts to fight this global pandemic."

"By offering this test at a fraction of the current price, ensuring a much faster turnaround time of just six hours, and deploying mobile laboratories which are easily transportable to the remotest areas, we hope to significantly scale up testing across the country."

(With IANS Inputs)