Kerala: People coming to Kerala from abroad will have free COVID-19 tests, said the state’s Health Minister KK Shailaja at a press briefing on Friday. RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests for returning non-resident Indians (NRIs) will be done for free in the state, she said.
The RT-PCR tests for all returning NRIs to Kerala will be made mandatory to check for new variants of the coronavirus. People should exercise extreme caution to prevent the steep increase of COVID-19 cases, Minister Shailaja warned. On Saturday, mobile RT-PCR testing labs will begin functioning in the state.
A test will cost Rs 448 as opposed to Rs 1,700 being charged at private labs. The results are expected to be released within 24 hours of the test. Kerala continues to record several thousand cases of COVID-19 every day and is second only to Maharashtra in the number of active cases reported in the country. On Thursday, the state recorded 3,677 new cases of COVID-19, taking the total active cases to 51,879.
However, a good number of recoveries are also being made and the state has a recovery rate of 94.63%. On Thursday, 4,652 people were reported to have recovered. There have been 4,150 deaths due to COVID-19 recorded by the state’s Health Department till date. On Thursday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that people coming to the state from Maharashtra and Kerala should bring a report showing that they have tested negative for the coronavirus.
The decision was taken at a meeting held at the CM’s residence. “In the meeting, it has been decided that it will be mandatory for people coming to Rajasthan from Maharashtra and Kerala to bring a negative report of corona RT-PCR test,” CM Ashok said.