Delhi govt caps Chikungunya test cost, after Dengue test last month

New Delhi :After a cap on cost of dengue test last month, Delhi government on Tuesday announced a similar ceiling for chikungunya, even as the city continues to grapple with rising cases of the two vector-borne diseases.

The government in a statement said, it has decided to cap the price for “chikungunya serology IgM at Rs 600 and for RT PCR for chikungunya at Rs 1,500”.

It also warned private hospitals and laboratories and nursing homes against overcharging. With spurt in dengue cases, Delhi government last month capped at Rs 600 the cost of test to diagnose the vector-borne disease and Rs 50 for ascertaining the platelet count in private hospitals in the national capital.

“This is continuation of the previous office order… wherein ceiling price has been fixed in all private sector at Rs 600 for each NS1-Ag (ELISA based) and MAC ELISA test for antibodies and Rs 50 for platelets,” the statement said.

Last year also, the AAP government had capped the dengue test charges following complaints that many private hospitals and laboratories were overcharging, sensing an opportunity to make profit. Chikungunya cases in Delhi have shot up to 432 a massive rise in the figure released by civic authorities, who had reported just 20 cases till last week.

According to a municipal report released yesterday, 432 cases had been diagnosed in the national capital till August 27. Safdarjung Hospital had reported nearly 250 cases till August 29. Meanwhile, 487 cases of dengue have so far been reported in the national capital this season, with 368 of them being recorded in August.

Till August 20, 311 cases of the vector-borne disease were reported while 176 cases came to light in last week alone, marking a rise of nearly 57 per cent. An 18-year-old boy died Sunday of dengue at Apollo Hospital in south Delhi, taking to five the number of fatalities due to the vector-borne disease.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said, “We have 10,000 beds and the number of fever clinics has been increased from 55 last year to 355. People should not panic.”